motogp: assessing the impact joan mir to repsol honda could have

Forming somewhat of a super-team next season in MotoGP, Joan Mir will line-up alongside eight-time world champion Marc Marquez after completing his expected move to Repsol Honda.

Mir, a former Moto3 world champion in 2017 and MotoGP champion in 2020, will leave Suzuki after three seasons with the Japanese brand.

Mir’s addition to Repsol Honda completes the factory team line-ups for next season, while also giving HRC the only rider pairing on the grid in which both riders have won a premier class title.

But what impact could Mir signing for Honda have? Keep reading to find out…

Can Mir regain his consistency at Honda?

While the current RC213V package is far from what Honda would have wanted – the last three seasons including 2022 have been somewhat disastrous given the sustained success that came before 2020 – Mir’s best trait since coming into MotoGP has been consistency. After all, it’s what took him to the 2020 world championship.

Winner of just one race in his title campaign, consistency was again on show throughout 2021 and at the beginning of this season, before a collision with Jack Miller at Portimao saw him retire from the race. Since then Mir has found it tough to get back to the form he showed last season, with yet more crashes taking place.

    However, Suzuki’s bombshell announcement that it would be leaving MotoGP also played a role in Mir struggling for form, as it did Alex Rins who also suffered after a good start.

    While Mir will need to regain his consistency if he’s to help bring Honda back to the front of MotoGP, the onus is certainly on the Japanese manufacturer to provide its riders with a more competitive bike.

    Supremely strong mentally, Mir should have no issues bouncing back from his toughest run of results since joining MotoGP.

    Why Mir to Honda will work!

    One of the fastest riders in MotoGP, excellent race craft and being able to get the most from his machine every weekend, Mir has exactly the tools he needs to be a success at Honda.

    Following Dani Pedrosa’s 13-year stint at Repsol Honda, HRC have since gone through Jorge Lorenzo, Alex Marquez and Pol Espargaro in just four seasons as the team-mate to Marquez.

    motogp: assessing the impact joan mir to repsol honda could have

    Aside from Alex who competed against his brother in just one race (Jerez), Lorenzo and Espargaro were convincingly beaten by Marc.

    While a lack of confidence can soon settle in when battling against someone of Marquez’ ability, Mir is a rider who has rarely been fazed by a team-mate getting the better of him.

    When Suzuki took their first win of 2020 it came at the hands of Rins, however, Mir kept his poise to eventually get the better of his team-mate and Franco Morbidelli in the championship fight.

    Ever since joining MotoGP, Mir has been willing to show aggressiveness in his on-track battles, which also involves battles against Marquez – showing he’s unlikely to be affected by the eight-time world champion’s presence within HRC.

    Mir vs Marquez – will their rivalry reach boiling point?

    Welcome @JoanMirOfficial @HRC_MotoGP https://t.co/j2eJMlMDbi pic.twitter.com/qFDfMi26lE

    — Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) August 30, 2022

    After returning from injury in 2021, Marquez was often seen trying to get a tow from another rider in an attempt to gain further performance during qualifying.

    One of the riders who enjoyed, or perhaps didn’t enjoy his company more often than not was Mir.

    In fact, the pair had several run-ins which led Mir to show frustration afterwards. One of those came at the first of two MotoGP rounds at Misano when Mir criticised Marquez for using other riders as a reference to gain time.

    motogp: assessing the impact joan mir to repsol honda could have

    Speaking after qualifying in Misano, Mir said: “He always needs a wheel to be, I think, strong. I don’t know, it’s something that is difficult to understand for me; how an eight-time world champion cannot do his job on his own and all this and always needs [to follow] someone’s wheel.

    “But yeah, it’s the game that always Marc loves to play and that’s it.”

    This followed Portimao when Marquez positioned himself directly behind Mir which left the Suzuki rider to again take aim at the Honda rider post-session.

    While the relationship between both riders has been fragile but courteous, racing in the same team could provide fireworks.

    That will be especially true if Honda can provide both riders with a bike good enough to win races in the near future.

    Given their previous fallouts, expect nothing less than hard racing when the two line-up as teammates next season.

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