Joan Mir will swap the blue of Suzuki for the orange of Repsol Honda in 2023
Pol Espargaro is the current teammate of Marc Marquez (pictured together at COTA)
Joan Mir will race alongside Marc Marquez at Repsol Honda next season after signing a two-year deal with Honda Racing Corporation.
The 2020 MotoGP World Champion has been linked with Honda ever since Suzuki’s shock decision to leave the series at the end of 2022. Since that announcement, Mir has endured his worst run in the premier class, with six DNFs in the last nine races.
Today’s announcement (August 30) comes just days before the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, which Mir will miss after fracturing his right foot in a crash at the Red Bull Ring.
“Thanks to HRC for trusting me and giving me the opportunity to defend these historic colours, which are full of history and world titles,” Mir said. “We will take advantage of my experience accumulated over the years in MotoGP with Suzuki to contribute as much as possible to the project and to fight together to become world champions again.
“Now it’s time to continue focusing on my recovery to return to the circuits as soon as possible and have a great end of the season with Team Suzuki Ecstar.”
Mir replaces Pol Espargaro at Repsol Honda, with the latter returning to the KTM brand with Tech3 GasGas for 2023, and becomes the fifth rider to partner Marquez at HRC. He follows in the footsteps of Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Alex Marquez and Espargaro.
Marquez’s teammates have struggled in recent years. The last non-Marquez Repsol Honda victory was taken by Pedrosa at Valencia in 2017, and he retired at the end of the following campaign.
Meanwhile, Lorenzo also retired after a tough injury-hit campaign in 2019, whilst Alex Marquez only lasted one season before being moved into the satellite LCR Honda squad. Espargaro has also struggled during his two-year stint, taking just two podiums so far.
HRC will be hopeful that a rider of Mir’s stature can be the rider help turn their fortunes around. The Japanese manufacturer has recorded just one podium in 2022, and Marc Marquez is still their best-placed rider in the championship (15th) despite missing the majority of the season.
In fact, whilst MotoGP European manufacturers are thriving, and Fabio Quartararo’s talent keeps Yamaha in the mix, Honda has only won three races since the beginning of the 2020 season – largely down to Marc Marquez’s broken humerus and the complications that have followed with his recovery.
Mir’s move to Repsol Honda means that all of the factory seats in MotoGP are now taken for 2023. Ducati confirmed last week that Enea Bastianini will line-up alongside Pecco Bagnaia, with Jorge Martin remaining at Pramac Ducati, and Jack Miller moving to the factory KTM team.
Elsewhere, Mir’s current Suzuki teammate Alex Rins will also be on a Honda RC213V in 2023 after signing for LCR Honda. Rins replaces Alex Marquez, who joins Gresini Racing Ducati.
It’s not yet known who Rins’ teammate next season will be, with Takaaki Nakagami’s future unclear and Ai Ogura claiming that he wishes to remain in Moto2 for now.