Being crowned MotoGP™ World Champion after only 85 Grands Prix takes a special kind of talent. Team Suzuki Ecstar's Joan Mir is just that after he stunned the motorcycling world in 2020 by clinching a first premier class crown, and second World Championship success following his Moto3™ victory in 2017, in just his second year competing in MotoGP™. Who better to join this week's Last On The Brakes Podcast than the reigning, defending Champion of the World then.
Many former premier class kings spoke of the weight of the number one plate following the Mallorcan's success, but Mir admits it's something he never felt. Speaking with hosts Matt Dunn and Fran Wyld, the number 36 was as open and honest as we've ever seen him, especially when offering his views on what pressure means to him.
"One thing that I have is I'm really realistic," started the 24-year-old on Episode 14 of the MotoGP™ Podcast. "And once I saw that I was able to be on the same level of those guys I was thinking that I was best one there, so then you start to do Spanish championship, and if you are able to do it, great, then you go to another thing.
"So I remember with my dad, we didn't have the money to pay a team to say okay, we’ll pay a team in the Spanish championship, and you have the opportunity. No, I had to build that skill and that talent from zero and if I was able to win one Championship then the other championship sees you, and one team could say okay, try here. And if you win you have the chance to go up to another category so that's why I was taking it too seriously from being too young, because I didn't have the opportunity to go to a team and pay. So I had to win in every championship, so that was quite difficult for a young guy.
“It’s a lot of responsibility. Also now, when last year or this year they say you have the pressure of the MotoGP title. I don't think that this is pressure, that was pressure!
"That was pressure because if I was not able to win with not the best bike, the expectation was not the best so if I was not able to win that year then nobody will contract you for the next year in another, in a different category. No, I was not able to stay two years in the same category. Because of this, you know, I had to show it.
"It wasn't fun. The racing was not fun because it was so intense. Yeah. But the progress day by day, in training going try to improve today I improve these today. This is the progress, I love the progress. The process. Exactly. So I enjoyed the process but not the racing in those years. Once I was in the world championship I was able to enjoy it more, yeah."
To hear more from the World Champion, head over to your favoured Podcast streaming platform to give the episode a watch or listen!