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MotoGP: Joan Mir expects rejuvenation at Repsol Honda with teammate Marc Marquez

MotoGP Joan Mir

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - AUGUST 19: Joan Mir of Spain and Team SUZUKI ECSTAR sits inside his garage during the free practice of the CryptoDATA MotoGP of Austria at Red Bull Ring on August 19, 2022 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Steve Wobser/Getty Images)

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In 2023, Joan Mir joins Marc Marquez in the Repsol Honda team and with the MotoGP season a little more than 11 weeks away, he gave his first interview as a rider competing with his new manufacturer, saying “every rider has imagined himself with these colors.”

In only his second campaign in the senior series, Mir had his greatest success. He finished second in his fourth start in the Austrian GP and then slowly built an advantage by following his first career podium with five more in the next seven races. His first victory came in the European Grand Prix and with that momentum built a sizable lead in the points over the Fabio Quartararo, who would go on to win the championship the following year.

Mir finished third in 2021 on the strength of six podium finishes. None of these were a victory.

After finishing outside of the top five in the first two rounds of 2022 and learning in May that his current Team Ecstar Suzuki would leave the series, he never got up to full speed, missing the podium in 16 starts and four races altogether to injury.

SOPHOMORE SUCCESS: Joan Mir captures his first MotoGP championship

Mir’s elevation to the top series came quickly. Two seasons in Moto3 resulted in a championship in 2017 and fifth place in the standings in 2016. He spent only one year in Moto2 and finished sixth in the points.

Now, just four years into his MotoGP career, he has top-three points’ results in half his campaigns. But last year was his worst season; he finished 15th overall with a career-low 77 points.

Mir believes his move to Honda will reinvigorate his career.

“My feelings when I joined a team like this one were unbelievable,” Mir said at “I think that every rider has imagined himself with these colors, so being a part of this makes me really proud to arrive in such a sweet moment in my career. I think that I am in a sweet moment and I’m also young to try to repeat again what we’ve done in the past. So, let’s see what we can do.

“Of course, to be a part of this team means more pressure, because only winning is a good result here. We know that we arrive at a difficult moment, but the approach to racing has to be the same one: Try to be as fast as we can to bring these colors to where they deserve.”

Pressure in 2023 will also come in the form of comparison to Marquez, who gave Honda six championships in seven seasons from his rookie year of 2013 through 2019. Injuries began plaguing the champion in 2020 and it remains to be seen if that has taken anything from the 59-time winner, whose last victories came in back-to-back races in the 2021 United States and Romagna Grands Prix.

“To share the box with Marc is a true challenge because he’s the best rider on the grid and the one with the most titles,” Mir said. “This is something that can be really good in one way and probably more difficult in another. You can share some data with him and you can learn a lot from the inside, but if you don’t perform in the way that you want, you always have a tough rider on the other side of the garage.

“He knows how this bike works perfectly. He’s able to ride in a way that the bike asks for: going really fast into the corner, which is probably faster than the bikes that I have tried in the past.”

For more of the interview with Mir, click here.