Alex Rins: 4th (+ 3.697)
Joan Mir: 7th (+ 8.703)
The penultimate race of the year, the Valencia GP, was a tense affair for Team Suzuki Ecstar as Joan Mir faced the first match point of the season. However, the young Mallorcan rode an extremely measured and intelligent race, doing enough to take the 2020 MotoGP World Championship crown in style with a round to spare.
Starting the 27 lap race from 12th and 14th on the grid, Mir and Alex Rins knew it would be tough to repeat the 1-2 result they achieved a week earlier at Ricardo Tormo. However, both riders made solid starts to gain useful places in the early laps.
While Rins began to chase down the lead group, Mir played it safe and ensured he had enough heat into his hard front tyre before lining up those ahead of him.
Rins worked his way into a decent fifth place by Lap 11, and Mir moved up into eighth one lap later.
With just a handful of laps left, Rins had settled into a strong rhythm and he was keeping his rivals at bay. He took a strong fourth place finish to keep himself in the hunt for second in the Championship, simultaneously helping Team Suzuki Ecstar to secure the 2020 Teams’ Championship.
Aware of what needed to be done to take the much coveted crown, Mir took a calm and clever approach to the race, keeping his cool in the high pressure situation and avoiding unnecessary risk. He finished the Valencia GP in seventh place, but crucially has a gap of 29 points in the standings, meaning he is confirmed as the 2020 MotoGP World Champion, an incredible achievement in only his second season in the class, and a momentous day for Suzuki who win their first title for 20 years whilst also celebrating their centenary year and 60 years in racing.
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager:
“First of all, I have to say a big congratulations to Joan! This season has been very difficult, not only because of the strength of all the competitors but also because of the global situation with Covid-19. Alex has also had a good day and helped us to get the Teams’ Championship, another great achievement! Thank you to everyone who has been fighting with us to make this season a special one, especially to all our staff, sponsors, and fans. I’m very happy, finally we’ve achieved our biggest dream.”
Davide Brivio - Team Manager:
“It’s an unbelievable feeling, we could not have hoped for more! To win the title this year, when it’s Suzuki’s 100th anniversary and the 60th year in racing, and also 20 years since the last title - in my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine something as good as this, it’s truly great. Huge congratulations must go to Joan, he was so consistent and professional throughout. Alex also did a really good job today to get decent points and 4th place. Finally I must thank all the staff - whether at home, in Japan, or here at the circuit - they’ve all worked incredibly hard for this. Thank you so much for everything.”
“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. The entire team did an incredible job, and I’m just so overjoyed with this championship win. I’ve come a long way since being a child with hardly any money to go racing, and my family are to thank for this. I worked very hard to get to the top and this reward is amazing. Today’s race wasn’t easy, but I got the result I needed and I hope to have a great end in Portimao. It’s time to celebrate but we must do it responsibly.”
“In the end, I wasn’t able to get the title, but I’m so happy for Joan and all of Team Suzuki! It’s incredible that he won the championship in only his second year, and the entire team have worked so hard to achieve this. So the feeling is amazing, even for me. Today Franco had a very strong pace and the best I could do was 4th, but I’m still fighting to get second place in the standings, so I’m happy with the result. I’m hoping to finish the season on a high when we go to Portimao!”
GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA - Race Classification:
1. F. MORBIDELLI - Petronas Yamaha SRT - 41:22.478
2. J. MILLER - Pramac Racing - +00.093
3. P. ESPARGARO - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - +03.006
4. A. RINS - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +03.697
5. B. BINDER - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - +04.127
6. M. OLIVEIRA - Red Bull KTM Tech 3 - +07.272
7. J. MIR - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +08.703
8. A. DOVIZIOSO - Ducati Team - +08.729
9. A. ESPARGARO - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - +15.512
10. M. VIÑALES - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP - +19.043
11. F. BAGNAIA - Pramac Racing - +19.456
12. V. ROSSI - Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP - +19.717
13. C. CRUTCHLOW - LCR Honda CASTROL - +23.802
14. S. BRADL - Repsol Honda Team - +27.430
15. D. PETRUCCI - Ducati Team - +30.570
16. A. MARQUEZ - Repsol Honda Team - +30.619
17. T. RABAT - Esponsorama Racing - +42.365
18. L. SAVADORI - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - +46.472
T. NAKAGAMI - LCR Honda IDEMITSU - 27:36.724 - 19 laps
F. QUARTARARO - Petronas Yamaha SRT - 12:29.735 - 9 laps
J. ZARCO - Esponsorama Racing - 07:45.771 - 5 laps
2020 MotoGP World Championship Classification:
1 Joan MIR Suzuki SPA 171
2 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha ITA 142
3 Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 138
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 127
5 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha FRA 125
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 125
7 Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA 122
8 Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 112
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN 105
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM POR 100
11 Brad BINDER KTM RSA 87
12 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 78
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati FRA 71
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda SPA 67
15 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 62
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati ITA 47
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 34
18 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 29
19 Iker LECUONA KTM SPA 27
20 Stefan BRADL Honda GER 18
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia GBR 12
22 Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 10
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 4
24 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia ITA
The 2020 World Championship has seen Suzuki come full circle, celebrating success in what has been an important year in the company’s history:
• It is the 100th Anniversary of Suzuki Motor Company.
• It is 60 years since Suzuki began racing.
• It is 20 years since the last World Championship title in the premier class.
The 2020 Riders’ World Championship is the 16th title for Suzuki and the 2nd for Joan Mir, after his crown in the Moto3 class in 2017. Mir is the 10th rider in history to win a title with Suzuki considering all categories, and the 7th in the 500cc/ MotoGP class.
It is also a historical and momentous day for Team Suzuki Ecstar, as it becomes the first Team in Suzuki history to win the Teams’ World Championship.
Mr. Toshihiro Suzuki – President of Suzuki Motor Corporation:
“I would like to congratulate and express my gratitude to Team Suzuki Ecstar and Joan Mir for winning the MotoGP World Championship in such an unprecedented and tough season due to the COVID-19 situation in 2020. Also to Alex Rins, who has put together an extraordinary championship, being still in the fight for second place.
“This is Suzuki’s 100th anniversary and in this memorable year, we won the MotoGP championship, which is the world’s highest series of motorcycle racing. And motorcycle business to us is one of the key sectors our seniors started and have built up over many years.
“I would like to thank all the customers, fans and dealers who always encouraged and supported Suzuki, and all the suppliers and sponsors who supported us. Our team staff members, riders, and furthermore all the staff who backed this activity by Miyakoda and Ryuyo, Japan.
“Since returning to the MotoGP, I am very proud of the team that has overcome various hardships, made steady progress year by year, and finally became the champion.”
Suzuki’s World Champions from 1962 to 2020.
Ernst Degner – 1962:
Degner designed Suzuki’s new 50cc and 125cc racing machines in 1961, and remarkably the following year, in 1962, he became Suzuki’s first World Champion taking the crown in the 50 cc class.
Hugh Anderson – 1963, 1964, 1965:
After winning a host of titles in his native New Zealand, and three British titles, Hugh went on to claim four World Championships with Suzuki. He won the 125cc World Championship in 1963 and 1965 and the 50cc in 1963 and 1964.
Hans-Georg Anscheidt – 1966, 1967,1968:
Hans-Georg Anscheidt was a German Grand Prix motorcycle racer who won three consecutive FIM 50cc World Championships from 1966 to 1968 as a member of the Suzuki Racing Team.
Dieter Braun – 1970:
The 1970 World GP 125cc Championship was won by Dieter Braun on a bike on loan from Suzuki.
Barry Sheene – 1976, 1977:
The British legend took the Championship for Suzuki in 1976 with five superb victories, and again in the 1977 season with six. He remains the last British rider to become World Champion in the reigning class.
Marco Lucchinelli – 1981:
Fighting with Kenny Roberts and Randy Mamola, the Italian was crowned the 1981 World Champion to take his place in MotoGP history.
Franco Uncini – 1982:
In a year that saw the grid full of further legendary names including Freddie Spencer, Kenny Roberts and Barry Sheene, Uncini took the title on his Suzuki with 5 victories and 7 podiums.
Kevin Schwantz – 1993:
The Texan was crowned World Champion after epic battles with Wayne Rainey, in a year full of well-known names, including Mick Doohan, Luca Caladora, Alex Barros and Alex Crivillé.
Kenny Roberts Jr. – 2000:
After winning the title in 2000, Kenny Roberts Jr. made history when the Roberts family became the first Father/Son World Champions.
Joan Mir – 2020:
In an extraordinary year, with a shortened and condensed calendar, the Mallorcan’s incredible consistency and impressive focus paid off at the end of the 14 races and he took the Riders’ World Championship in style for Suzuki after a 20 year wait for the factory. This achievement was made even more special as 2020 marks the 100th anniversary since the Suzuki company was founded, and the 60th anniversary of their start in racing.