Suzuki's Joan Mir spent almost the entire Andalucia MotoGP 'looking' at the podium.

A debut rostrum remained just out of reach, but having crashed out one week earlier, Mir was happy to put points on the board and equal his career-best finish of fifth place.

"The result was really good," he said. "I enjoyed it and was seeing the podium all the race.

"What penalised us a little bit was that last weekend no Suzuki finished the race and we didn't any information about the tyres, we didn't know the pressures and I was quite struggling with the front.

"And I was managing the distance with Nakagami [4th] and the podium and catching both Yamahas a little each lap. But then when I was 0.5 behind them I started to have more problems with the front and was not able to do more.

"Probably if I was alone I could be able to improve my lap times by far. But in the dirty air behind the others I was quite on the limit.

"But happy to finish the race. It's what I needed because I didn't want to go home without a good result. I'm conscious that two riders broke their engines in front of us, so it's not a full fifth position, but anyway I'm happy."

One of those to retire ahead of Mir was Pramac Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia, black-flagged when his bike began smoking.

"In the first moment I thought it was the two Yamahas that were losing this smoke, but then I saw it was Bagnaia," Mir said. "In my case it was not difficult to ride in. But it was a bit dangerous because I thought if the engine is broken, we will all crash, so for sure a difficult situation."

Also difficult was the roasting Jerez heat. "Physically it was so hard, probably the worst one ever. I was really, really exhausted!" Mir said.

Next up will be the Czech Republic round, where Mir was fast as a rookie one year ago, only to be taken out of the race and badly injured in the Monday test.

"I don’t have a lot of good memories from last year at Brno, but I was really fast. So I hope this year to be more competitive and that's it," he said.

Team-mate Alex Rins, who missed the opening Jerez race due to a dislocated shoulder, finished in tenth place. Unlike Mir, Rins tried the new Suzuki holeshot device in the race.

"Next we’ll go to Brno, where we’ll try for the podium with both our riders. I’m looking forward to it," said Technical Manager Ken Kawauchi.

 

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