For the first time in 20 years, Suzuki is on top of MotoGP thanks to Joan Mir.
Almost everyone expected Marc Marquez to add another victory to his championship total in 2020, but an early-season spill cleared a path to the crown and it was Mir who stepped up.
The Spaniard has only won a single race through the 2020 season, but a seventh place in Valencia was enough for him to re-write the records as he became the first Suzuki rider since Kenny Roberts Jnr – in the pre-MotoGP era – to claim the crown.
As #36 became #1 when Mir switched numbers on his victory lap, he became the first Moto3 champion to take the top prize in MotoGP, the 10th Suzuki rider to claim he premier title, the fourth Spaniard to be champion, and the first rider since Wayne Rainey in 1992 to become champion without taking a single pole position.
“I will probably need a shower to understand the situation,” said Mir.
“It’s something I’ve been fighting all my life, since I was ten years old I had this dream and I never stopped until I got this title.”
While Mir kept out of trouble in the Valencia GP there was a titanic battle for the win which went, as so often this year in MotoGP, down to the final lap.
Franco Morbidelli and Jack Miller had battled through the race and on the last lap the Frenchman was able to fend the Aussie off to take his third GP win of a season where he could have been champion with more consistency on his Yamaha.
“I gave everything all race long and finally I had to dig deeper to find something else at the last lap because Jack was there and was able to catch up at the end and fight at the end. I had to find something extra and luckily I was able to pull it out! It was a wonderful fight against Jack,” said Morbidelli.
“It’s always nice to fight with him, win or lose, so I enjoyed the battle and congrats to him, he was just as good as me.”
The MotoGP season will wrap next week at Portimao where Suzuki and Ducati, who are equal in the Constructor Championship, will fight to decide the last remaining prize of the season.