Joan Mir is confirmed as stepping up to MotoGP in 2019 with the Team Suzuki Ecstar squad, on a two year deal that will see the 2017 Moto3 champion partner Alex Rins – who took his first podium in 2018 in Argentina.
Mir is thought to have been wanted by multiple Factory teams, such as Ducati and Honda, however Suzuki has been signed for a while, although not released and confirmed until now. Suzuki have won just one race since their return to MotoGP, coming with another young talent that they head-hunted, Maverick Vinales.
At the age of just 20, Mir has 11 wins and 18 podiums, of which two of those podiums have come in Moto2 this season. The Spaniard is quickly establishing himself as a real contender for Moto2 victories and may well be a championship challenger once the season enters its second half.
Davide Brivio, the Team Manager at Suzuki said, “Joan Mir is only 20 years old now, already a World Champion with an impressive 10 wins last year and he has already proven several skills. He is fierce, he is witty, he is nice and he can be very fast. All the characteristics that we like to search for in a young rider, who wants to join us not only for the prestige of a factory machine in the top class but most of all because he believes in our racing project.
“Talking to him, I realised how much he has a clear mind, how much he liked our Suzuki project and wanted to join us. This has been a great boost for us. Of course, we know very well that he will need time to gain experience and grow with us, but we have full confidence in his potential. Suzuki management encouraged us to pursue the ‘young rider philosophy’ and with Joan I think we found the perfect protagonist for this role. With Alex and Joan we have two very talented riders and our target is to create a strong team for the future.”
Mir’s confirmation as Andrea Iannone’s replacement means that there are now no more factory seats available in MotoGP for the next two seasons, unless a manufacturer was to provide a factory bike to an Independent team.
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