Reigning Moto3 world champion Joan Mir will join the Suzuki MotoGP squad on a two-year deal, the Japanese manufacturer has announced.
Mir’s graduation to MotoGP with Suzuki has been heavily rumoured over the past weeks, with his confirmation this morning meaning that every factory seat on the 2019 MotoGP grid has now been filled.
Currently competing in Moto2 with the Marc VDS racing team, the Spaniard has so far impressed in his rookie year in the intermediate class, scoring two podiums and sitting fifth in the championship standings on 64 points.
Honda reportedly held a pre-contract with Mir last month, but let the option run out to sign Jorge Lorenzo instead, leaving the door open for Suzuki to swoop in and secure Mir’s signature.
“Joan Mir is only 20 years old now, already a World Champion with an impressive 10 wins last year and he has already proven several skills. He is fierce, he is witty, he is nice and he can be very fast,” said Suzuki Team Manager Davide Brivio.
“Of course, we know very well that he will need time to gain experience and grow with us, but we have full confidence in his potential. Suzuki management encouraged us to pursue the ‘young rider philosophy’ and with Joan I think we found the perfect protagonist for this role.”
“With Alex and Joan we have two very talented riders and our target is to create a strong Team for the future.”
As confirmed last week, current Suzuki rider Andrea Iannone will depart to head to Aprilia, partnering Aleix Espargaro for the next two seasons.
The news means that Honda refugee Dani Pedrosa is left without a factory MotoGP deal for the first time since his debut in the championship back in 2006.
His best chance to stay on the premier class grid in 2019 remains with the potential satellite Yamaha project being put together by the Sepang International Circuit organisation, originally earmarked for Jorge Lorenzo before the three-time MotoGP champion replaced Pedrosa at Honda.