Mir Takes MotoGP World Championship at Valencia 2
November 15, 2020
Andy Nietupski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Joan Mir’s victory of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship ended a year like no other. To say the year was challenging is an understatement. To say the year was controversial is accurate. And to say the year was suspenseful is a promoter’s dream.
The 2020 season was the season that almost wasn’t. COVID-19 forced Dorna Sports, the race organizer, to initially cancelled the 19-race season. A shorten 14-race season, running July to November, was later cobbled to salvage the 2020 World Championship.
The logistics were incredibly awkward. Some races like Jerez were held when the venue was too hot. Other races liked Le Mans were run when the venue was too cold. And the smaller number of available circuits forced some venues to host back-to-back races on consecutive weekends.
But the loss of six-time champion Marc Marquez in the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix on July 19th really turned the season upside-down. Marquez’ massive crash broke his right arm and eliminated any chance of defending is championship in 2020, and perhaps a return in 2021.
Marquez’s departure opened the door to fresh wave of up-and-coming riders, creating an open competition not seen 2001 when Valentino Rossi secured his first world championship. A record number nine different riders won races in the shortened season. Five were first-time winners, one was a rookie and all but two were under the age of 25.
Mir’s championship certainly lacked the grandeur of prior championships. He was the first rider to win the crown while winning but a single race. The key to his success was consistency: Mir finished with 171 points, 1 win and 7 podiums. Franco Mordibelli followed with 158 points, 3 wins and 5 podiums. Alex Rins was third in line to the championship with 139 points, 1 win and 4 podiums.
Adding to the controversy was Mir scored the second fewest points in the 72-year premier-class grand prix racing history, capturing a mere 49% percent of the available points. Mir, in only his second year of MotoGP racing, became the seventh youngest rider to win the Championship.
Commenting on the victory, Mir said, “For me, this was the reason to sign with Suzuki.” He went on to say, “To get the title with Suzuki means something more than normal.”
Mir joins Barry Sheene, Marco Lucchinelli, Franco Uncini, Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts Jr as Suzuki MotoGP world champions.