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MotoGP, Joan Mir: “This year will be the most important of my career”

The rider from Mallorca joked about becoming a father: “During the Sepang tests, I was careful, in order to figure out if I had lost a few tenths.” And he’s optimistic about the new Honda: “We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

MotoGP: Joan Mir: “This year will be the most important of my career”

Joan Mir and Honda are in very similar situation. After having won in the past, they both have to regain a competitiveness they seem to have lost. Mir won the title in 2020, but then Suzuki retired, and he faced a bad season on the Honda. “This year is very important for me. The most important one in my career,” he admitted at the HRC presentation in Madrid. “A season without being in front is terrible for a rider. I’m willing to give everything to succeed, and Honda is doing the same.

It’s time for a revolution in Tokyo, which also includes the new colors on the RC213V. “It’s a year of changes, and the livery is also very different,” Mir continued. “I feel good. We clearly need to improve, and they’re working hard in Japan. I had fun riding the new bike in Sepang, and we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Speaking of change, you’ve become a father.
It’s something that changes you. It’s a big responsibility. You feel like staying home more. They say that when you become a father you lose a few tenths a lap and, in the first test, I tried to figure out if that was true,” he said laughing. “All kidding aside, having a child is helping me a lot because you understand that you have to go in one direction together. The Repsol guys also gave him his first bike, but he still can’t touch the ground.”

What will it be like for Honda this year without Marquez?
I haven’t thought about Marc in these months. I know he’s talked about, but the team’s goal is to improve. With him or without him, it has to be done. We won’t be in the spotlight any longer? The work in the garage remains the same, nothing is changing.”

What are your feelings before starting the season?
I’m very optimistic because Honda is working a lot and has made a very different bike in a short time. It’s lighter and more powerful. From Valencia to Sepang, another step forward has been taken, and we hope to make further progress in testing in Qatar. I want to be up front, have fun. I really want to.”

You also changed crew chief. How do you feel about Hernandez?
I feel very good with Santi, with him, and with the new team. In Sepang, we got to know each other better, and we have a very similar way of working. Everything is coming very naturally.”

How’s your relationship with Marini?
I’m going to try to stay ahead of him. A teammate is your first rival, but he can also be your best ally. That’s what I want. Luca is a great rider. He comes from the best bike and will give us fantastic information. He’s a breath of fresh air. We could be a good couple.

What do you think about those who argue that there’s too much aerodynamics on the current MotoGP?
The riders still have absolute control of the bike. Wings and electronics are supports. However, they take away some of the entertainment and level out performance. Having less aerodynamics could be good.


Translated by Leila Myftija

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