Joan Mir is experiencing his brightest period as a Repsol Honda team rider, even if he is not meeting all expectations at the moment. The 2020 MotoGP World Champion experienced his best weekend as an HRC standard bearer in the Indian Grand Prix, where he finished fifth in Sunday’s race.
The result came after a very important Misano test for him, in which he found himself at ease with the 2024 RC213V prototype brought by Honda. Or at least more than teammate Marc Marquez, who continues to leave his future pending, whether he will still be with Honda or whether he will move to the Gresini team, as all the signs seem to indicate.
Mir, who is in favor of the new bike as well as tester Stefan Bradl, was eager to try it at Buddh, but Honda was unable to bring it to the circuit due to logistical problems. Thus, the Majorcan will try it at Motegi, as confirmed on Thursday of the Japanese Grand Prix. However, he doesn’t rule out discarding her if he feels worse.
“I’ll try it. If I’m happy I think I’ll continue with that, but if I have doubts I’ll continue with the one for the whole year, with the base I used in India. That’s kind of what we want to do,” said the Spaniard.
“In Misano, I managed to get more comfortable riding, I was the fastest in terms of pace on used tyres. This is why I want to try it again at Motegi, because at Misano we managed to be faster than the other one. In India we were competitive with what we had, now that we have the 2024 prototype we will be able to see if it is a little better. But if we have doubts I will keep what I have,” she continued.
Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
However, Mir doesn’t want to have too high expectations: “Honestly, I don’t want to expect too much, I think it’s better. In India we more or less had a bike that I felt good with. There were still some limitations in terms of acceleration and grip, but we were competitive somehow. Motegi is a track that on paper should be ‘stop and go’. The asphalt and tires are different, but we will try. In FP1 we will see what the potential is and what we can do, whether we can get to Q2 or whether we won’t have a chance. If we fight at the back it would be a shame, I would like to be like in India,” he continued.
However, for Mir this Japanese Grand Prix is not the best event to do this type of testing: “I wanted to have the prototype in India, because there would have been more time to adapt than here, with things more or less clear. Not in India, but in Barcelona for example, where we suffered a lot and had nothing to lose, these are the weekends where we need help and we can do tests. If I somehow get the bike that I feel good about with the old chassis, but even better with the new one, well, that will be welcome. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Finally, #36 was asked if the 2024 prototype is proof that Honda is making progress out of the crisis. The Majorcan was sharp: “I see it as very simple, this means that the chassis they brought works. I don’t see anything beyond this. They are trying to develop the bike with a view to 2024, the first prototype worked and we have to thank them, but that doesn’t mean it’s the bike I want for next year. We are far from what I want and what I need,” he concluded.
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