From the Blog

MIA

Joan Mir (Photo courtesy of Motorsport.com)

Well, as the title implies, I have been missing in action for over a week now. Things have just caught up with me and getting to the keyboard, while not impossible, has certainly been difficult so my sincere apologies. I will try to redress the balance today.

The subject of my missive today is a rider who, in some respects, has also been missing in action and I refer to the current Moto3 world champion, Joan Mir. It doesn’t seem like that long ago than his name was the name on everyone’s lips. His stunning championship win in 2017 saw his prospects being at their highest with many teams vying for his services in the 2018 season. He was seemingly unbeatable and, even when it seemed impossible, he would somehow conjure up a way of getting that pole position or that race win. He was even christened the “Mir-acle Man” for his amazing performances.

Moto2 was the next step and he was not surprisingly signed with one of the top teams in the championship, the Marc VDS squad, taking the place of Franco Morbidelli who moved up to MotoGp. But, since his arrival at the team, he seems to have gone missing somewhat. Now I could be accused of being churlish expecting him to simply pick up where he left off in Moto3, after all, moving up a class is always difficult. But I think pretty much everyone expected that his rapid upwards trajectory would continue much like his Spanish compatriot, Marc Marquez’s had done some years before. After all, nobody in their right mind was ever going to question either his talent or his commitment.

While he certainly hasn’t hit the wall in Moto2, the figures show that it has been a much bigger learning curve for the Miracle Man than he or others expected.

With just 4 races left in the season, the above looks rather depressing given what the expectations were. Add to this the number of races where he has failed to finish due to accidents (often early in the race) and there must be some head-scratching going on. After all, while his team mate, Alex Marquez, will probably never win the title in Moto2, he is outscoring Mir quite handsomely.

What is the problem? It’s plainly not the team or the bike as Marquez is proving. And I don’t believe it is lack of talent as stated above. Plainly Mir is one of the brightest stars of recent memory. I believe that the issue is that Mir’s brain is somewhere else and has been since almost day 1. His early season signing for Suzuki and their MotoGp team for 2019 has clearly distracted him from giving his best in the intermediate class. Indeed, he has pretty much gone on record confirming this when he recently said that winning the Moto2 title is not as important to him as his move to MotoGp. If he has been quoted correctly and if this is, in fact, true, then this is very disappointing. I don’t know what sort of salary he is on at Marc VDS but I can bet that his boss there is pretty peeved to know that his #1 buy for 2018 isn’t really giving of his best. I can bet that Suzuki bosses are examining the figures carefully also and may be having an occasional concern about who they have bought and what level of commitment he is going to bring with him.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big Joan Mir fan, but, in this game, it’s 100% or not at all and I am not sure at all that Mr Mir is giving that just at the moment. I hope I am wrong and will be delighted if I am.

More tomorrow on another big name star.