ORIGINS – The first striking thing of Joan Mir is that he didn’t start racing at three or four years old, like many others, but when he was 10. So late. And what did he do before? Juan, Joan’s father, owns a shop in Palma de Mallorca, “Roll&Roll”, where he sells skateboards, surfboards and clothing. No motorcycles, no fuel smell, no wrenches. According to El Pais, Mir started racing by chance: one day one of his relatives convinced him to enroll in Chicho Lorenzo’s school. And then his talent led to all the rest. Leopard Racing’s Christian Lundberg said: «It’s advantageous to start racing so late, because you’re more mature and the experiences you live are more concrete. When you start at a younger age, you may have some trouble: you think you know everything, when you actually know nothing, and then you’re not confident enough and so you’re not practical. When he joined us, he was 18. He was more mature, he could understand how it worked. During his first year with our team he had some trouble, since he was very stubborn, but as you show him what he has to do, he adapts to it: this year [2017, when he trimphed in Moto3] he’s much more confident».
BEFORE HIM – These aspects of Joan Mir’s career remind us Max Biaggi, rather than Johann Zarco. You may start later than many others, but what makes the difference is talent. As always. But Joan wants it all at once. He’s not very emotional, but he knows how difficult it is to stand out; El Mundo said that he cried just twice and one of these is when he was selected for Red Bull Rookies Cup, where there were hundreds of riders, but just 12 spots available. If you fell, you were out. «I’m not very emotional – said Joan – but when they told me I had been selected, I cried a lot. And just the wins scored in Moto3 made me feel in a similar way».
MANAGER – Paco Sánchez, Mir’s manager, is as practical as he is: for example, he says that contracts are actual just when they have an official signature on it. About Joan, Sánchez said: «He loves to train and he does it by combining motorcycling and physical activity». Joan is always on the move: motocross, enduro, jet ski, 600cc and 1000cc bikes. He’s polite, strict and humble. They say that after his first win on the world stage, dating back to 2016 Austrian GP, his parents told him: «Remember that you haven’t won anything yet».
AFTER MARQUEZ – His parents, who are separated, don’t interfere in their son’s “professional” life. They rarely go to races and when they do it, they watch them from the grandstands in order not to bother Joan and the team in the pits. Joan said to El Mundo: «There are two ways in which you can join MotoGP: by paying money or by paying nothing. I’m one of the very few riders who have never needed to pay. Every year my dad said ‘From October you’ll be unemployed’, but every October someone came to help me and gave me a bike for the season after». Mir is definitely a “golden boy”: together with “Pecco” Bagnaia, he’s believed to be the heir of Valentino Rossi. And maybe also Márquez’s one.