Joan Mir confesses he was “tiny bit scared” when his Suzuki engine blew abruptly on the back straight of the Circuit of the Americas at the start of MotoGP FP4 on Saturday.
The defending world champion’s GSX-RR blew up early in FP4 on Saturday, bringing him to a halt and putting him in danger of colliding with KTM’s Miguel Oliveira, who was just behind him.
Mir was able to get back on track on his second bike and qualified eighth, but he admits he has no idea what went wrong with his Suzuki and was worried at the moment.
“Yeah, well the bike stopped completely,” Mir said when asked by Motorsport.com if he knew what went wrong specifically in FP4. “I don’t know if it was the engine or something, but I was a bit scared in that moment.
“I didn’t know what was happening and also it was in an acceleration point, so it’s dangerous. But luckily we are fine.”
Mir struggled on Friday with his bike’s stability over COTA’s infamous bumps, and believes the issue lasted throughout FP3.
He claims he found the gains he was hoping for following his mechanical issue in FP4 and was only held back in qualifying because he only had one fresh soft for Q2 after getting through Q1.
“It was a tricky day,” the world champion added. “The main thing today is that I expected a little bit more in FP3 to get back the good feelings but was not in FP3, was in FP4
“So, that was the problem of today. That’s why I had to go through Q1. I was honestly in FP3 with the same problems as yesterday, and then the bike improved.
“I was able to be on that lap time with the medium tyre. So, means that we improved a lot the race pace and everything, and this is important. I know that we normally struggle in qualy, so I could make not a bad lap time.
“In Q1, I go to Q2 without any problems, and then in Q2 I think we missed a second chance with another tyre to fight for the second row.”
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