UPDATE August 24, 2022:
Joan Mir's 2022 MotoGP season only seems to get worse by the week. The Spanish rider has struggled to match the results of teammate Alex Rins throughout the year, but Suzuki's sudden withdrawal from MotoGP only further derailed the 2020 MotoGP Champion's form. Mir's downward spiral crescendoed at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, when an opening-lap high-side crash sent the Suzuki rider to the Red Bull Ring circuit's on-site medical facilities.
The original x-rays performed at the Spielberg track revealed that Mir suffered a fracture to his right ankle's talus bone. Upon arriving at his home in Andorra, Spain, Mir underwent a CT scan and an MRI overseen by Dr. Juan Garcías at Palma de Mallorca's Juaneda Miramar hospital. Unfortunately, the procedures exposed addition damage to number 36's ligaments and bones.
“The patient had a ligament injury of the talus with a small bone avulsion," stated Garcías. "(He has a) stable tibiofibular joint, but with (a) bone contusion on the head of the talus. Conclusion: ligament injuries with grade I-II instability."
For now, the doctor instructed Mir to rest for the next 15 days, effectively disqualifying him from the 2022 San Marino GP on Septemer 2-4, 2022. Following the 15-day rest period, Dr. Garcías will re-evaluate Mir's condition. That check up will determine the rider's future treatment plan and whether he can participate in the 2022 Aragon Grand Prix.
Suzuki hasn't announced Mir's Misano replacement just yet, but the firm doesn't have many options at its disposal. Suzuki MotoGP test rider Sylvain Guintoli is currently injured so they may turn to his Endurance World Championship teammates Takuya Tsuda or Xavier Simone. Regardless of who fills Mir's seat in the San Marino round, we hope to see him back in the saddle in Aragon.
Original story follows.
The 2022 MotoGP season hasn’t been kind to Joan Mir. The 2020 MotoGP Champion has yet to stand atop the podium this year. Despite failing to finish in the top three places, Mir remained consistent in the first five races, capturing four top-six finishes. That all changed after the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix, though.
When Suzuki informed its Factory team that the firm planned to pull out of the Grand Prix series following the 2022 season, Mir’s season fell off a cliff. That sucker punch has stayed with him, however, and the Suzuki rider has crashed out of five of the last seven rounds. He did match his season’s best results with a fourth place in the Catalan Grand Prix, but his latest outing could potentially sideline him for upcoming races.
On Sunday, August 21, 2022, number 36 lined up eighth on the grid at Austria’s Red Bull Ring Circuit. The former champ showed steady pace throughout the weekend, recording a P3 finish in the race weekend’s FP3 practice session. When the starting lights went out, Mir gained one position before his hard work unraveled at the very first corner.
Trailing defending champion Fabio Quartararo and Aprilia rider Maverick Vinales, Mir’s GSX-RR momentarily lost rear grip before regaining traction, catapulting the rider head over heels into the air. After a violent tumble, Mir settled in the gravel trap, immediately clutching at his right ankle. In the initial check-up at the circuit medical center, Mir received a fractured ankle diagnosis, but he’s grateful his injuries weren’t more severe.
“It could have been worse, so I feel relatively lucky, because from the outside it's pretty scary,” Mir conceded. “The first diagnosis shows bone fragments and fractures in my ankle. Tomorrow I will undergo further examinations, including an MRI to see if a ligament has not been affected.”
We won’t know Mir's fitness status for the 2022 San Marino Grand Prix on September 4, 2022, until the MRI results become available. Hopefully, the Suzuki rider returns to the paddock—and to championship form—sooner than later.