Fighting talk: Mir expects title pressure to hit Quartararo

The reigning World Champion has quietly moved to third in the standings and believes the next three rounds will be crucial to his defence

It's crunch time in the MotoGP™ World Championship with three rounds in four weeks coming up. Momentum swings will have a huge impact on the destination of the 2021 crown, and reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) is expecting some major moments to play out at Silverstone, Aragon and Misano.

"I think in the next three races we will start to see a different championship," said the Mallorcan when asked on Sunday evening whether he thinks points leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) will start to crumble under title pressure.

Are we about to see a carbon copy of 2020? Quartararo lead the way with six rounds remaining before failing to finish inside the top seven and seeing the title slip through his fingers.

"Even if he has a considerable distance now I think the pressure will start to be higher every race," said the 23-year-old after his third straight top four finish. "It is always difficult for riders to manage that pressure. Also, all of the pressure from Yamaha is now against him and yeah, this is something that last year was not like this. He is doing really well but for sure now the pressure is much higher so let’s see.

Mir knows he must start winning races, though. The factory Suzuki man has only taken one victory in his MotoGP™ career and admits he needs to add to that tally before the close of the year if he has any chance of being a back-to-back King. 

"I think we must win two or three races to get the championship. Now the better races for us are coming. More favourable and this means we will get some opportunities in races. The important thing again is to stay on the bike, like in this race, and to continue improving – the bike also – and to try and win. This will be key. I think we need to win minimum two races to get the title again. I will be surprised if I don’t need them.

"I'll still go race-by-race but it’s true that there are less races remaining and it's really crucial the three next ones. It is important to maintain this great feeling. Austria is not the best track for us, our bike and I could manage to recover some points in the championship. We did our homework quite well but we always expect more."

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