Marco Lucchinelli was world champion with Suzuki in 1981, having won five races. Since then, few others have been able secure the title on the white and blue bike. There was Franco Uncini, in 1982, and then, many years later, Kevin Schwantz, in 1993. It was another seven years before Kenny Roberts jr. lifted the trophy. And not until now, 20 years later, does Suzuki find itself back on top of the world, thanks to Joan Mir, guided by Davide Brivio.
"Well done Mir and Morbidelli"
We asked Marco Lucchinelli what he thinks of this first Suzuki title in so many years.
“I was quite pleased, in that I have great memories of Suzuki of course. And they’ve done a good job, the team’s worked well, the bike is proof of this. They believed and they did it. Mir has done well to win the title and the others let him take it… Dovizioso, Miller, all the Yamaha guys, from Quartararo to Vinales, they should be a little ashamed. At least the Yamaha has won a race with each rider, except Valentino.
“Aside from Mir, I’ve liked Morbidelli, he’s taken a step up in terms of quality. I don’t know what he’ll do in the future, but if I’m not mistaken he’s on what should be a privateer bike, not that of Valentino or Viñales, but that of the year before… You see, I’m good, I like old bikes.”
"Iannone? They’ve castrated him"
It’s been a bit of a strange world championship… What do you think?
“Yes, we’ve seen it all, from the dangerous Austria track, to Yamaha’s decision to open the engines, to Iannone’s disqualification. They’ve castrated him, poor guy, as if he were responsible for COVID. His only defect is that he likes hot girls and drives a Bentley, but he knows how to open the throttle and I don’t think they should castrate a person just because he plumps his lips…. Because that’s aesthetics. On the bike, you’ve either got it or you haven’t. There are no substances that make you faster, if there were, I’d know about them. Giving him a four-year ban seems over the top. It would have been fairer to give him a 100,000 euro fine to donate to the fight against Coronavirus…
“Do you remember when Fenati touched Manzi's brake, and it looked like they’d disqualify him for life? And Manzi played the goody-goody, saying ‘Fenati wanted to kill me’. Now there’s an image doing the rounds on the internet of Manzi kicking a rider… (Hector Garzò, in second free practice at the Valencia GP). So, punishment is needed but without exaggerating, and we shouldn’t be pleased when things happen to others because these can always come back around”.
A world championship without Marquez
Do you think Mir can win again next year?
“World championships are world championships and if you win, no one can take that away from you, but this isn’t like the championship I won, winning five races, or like that won by other riders, Franco (Uncini) for example… Mir won this championship because he has a great bike and has been consistent. We can’t take away his merits, but there was no Marc Marquez, and he remains the man to beat, the reference. If you win a championship by beating him it’s one thing, it you win it because he’s not there…. Well, you’re good, and perhaps you’d have won anyway, but it’s still a championship in which Marquez didn’t feature".
“Marquez has been the only thorn in Dovizioso’s side, the Italian finishing second on three occasions… And if I’d had to bet this year, I’d have gone for Dovizioso, over Rossi, because without the man to beat, they should have stood out. And yet they didn’t. But Mir did well, so all credit to him. And his mum’s great too… why didn’t I grow up with friends like him? With a mum like that at home…” concludes Lucchinelli with irony, referring to the undeniable beauty of Mrs. Mir.
Translated by Heather Watson