2020 MotoGP: Joan Mir sixth rider to win premier class for Suzuki since Barry Sheene in 1976

Suzuki has won the 2020 MotoGP world championship, with Joan Mir crowned champion after finishing seventh at the penultimate round of the season at Valencia.

2020 motogp world champion joan mir

2020 MotoGP world champion has been decided and it is Suzuki to take the top honours this year. Joan Mir was crowned champion after a seventh-place finish at the penultimate round at Valencia. With this victory, Mir has become the sixth rider to win the premier class for Suzuki since Barry Sheene first took the title for the Japanese manufacturer in 1976. This is the second season for Mir in the top class after joining Suzuki in the 2019 season. After a shaky start with two crashes in three races, the 23-year-old Spaniard finished on the podium seven times in nine races.

“World Champion: it sounds amazing. It’s really hard to find the words at the moment, but I must say thank you to so many people; to Suzuki for this opportunity, I’m so happy to give them a title. To be the person who brings them another crown after 20 years is an unbelievable feeling and a true honour,” – Joan Mir

Suzuki, the smallest of the Japanese factories in MotoGP, has consistently punched above its weight in Grand Prix racing. The brand took back-to-back titles with Sheene in 1976 and 1977, with the Briton winning 11 races across both seasons. Two more back-to-back titles followed in 1981 and 1982, with Italians Marco Lucchinelli and Franco Uncini winning a championship each.

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Charismatic American Kevin Schwantz lifted the gong in 1993 before his compatriot Kenny Roberts Jr. was crowned champion in 2000, Suzuki’s last premier class title.

Suzuki took a sabbatical from Grand Prix racing after the 2011 season, returning with an all-new machine in 2015. Just six seasons later – and in a year that marks the 100th anniversary of Suzuki Motor Corporation – Joan Mir joins an exclusive list of riders to have taken motorcycling’s biggest prize.

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First published on: 16-11-2020 at 16:50 IST