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MotoGP Indian GP

Mir anticipates India "struggle" as Honda's 2024 MotoGP bike a no-show

Honda’s Joan Mir expects to “struggle” in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, with the Japanese manufacturer unable to bring its 2024 MotoGP bike to the track as he had hoped.

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Mir tested the prototype RC213V chassis at Misano after the San Marino Grand Prix earlier this month and described the new bike as a step in the right direction, even as he felt it failed to deliver the kind of performance gains he wants for 2024.

Following the test session, Mir didn’t rule out the possibility of racing the 2024 Honda in the final part of the season, but stopped short of revealing where the prototype could make its debut.

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Speaking at the Buddh International Circuit on Thursday, Mir revealed that he had held talks with Honda about racing the RC213V as early as this weekend’s India round.

However, apparent logistical issues with shipping the bike from Misano to Asia prevented the marque from giving its 2024 prototype an early debut in India and will now hopefully do so in Japan.

“We didn't receive the bike here,” he said. “Honestly, I expected it but we don't have it. We will make the weekend as the previous one, so we will struggle, that's it.

“They said they had some trouble on the transport to Japan because they wanted first to ship to Japan, then here [to India].

“It's a shame we don't have it here, but I hope to have it in Japan to be able to make more laps to understand.

“If it's the right direction it will be very, very helpful for Honda.

“I think it makes sense [to race the new bike], if you're allowed to go with that prototype because we know the potential of this bike, I know I can hope.

“So it means if I feel better, we can get some important information to say, ‘in that area we improved a lot and there we are not so good'

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: MotoGP

He addd: “I would say for my height and everything I was able to be a bit more comfortable [with the new bike].

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“Then this always makes a huge step because [even if] the bike [and the] the chassis is working the same but you're in a better position on the bike, [you feel] more comfortable, you will turn more, you will have more natural grip straight away because you're in the position.

“So I think that is positive for me.”

Mir’s team-mate and eight-time world champion Marc Marquez however remains pessimistic about the potential of the 2024 prototype, saying it offers limited gains over the brand’s current challenger.

"On the test we were two and two," said Marquez. "Me and Taka [Nakagami] would prefer the other one and Stefan and Mir prefer the new.

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"It's true that in the end if you prefer the new one and you finish in the top of the standings, then I can understand but that's not the case at the moment so what I say is that it's not enough to fight for the top positions for next year.

"It can be a bit better but here we are not looking for one tenth, we are looking for six-seven tenths per lap. So is that where we need to change and for me it doesn't matter to ride a bike one tenths faster or slower, we need much more.

"So this is my opinion and just I keep working to improve that and keep pushing."

Asked to confirm if he doesn’t intend on racing the 2024 prototype in the final eight races of the season, the Spaniard said: “I don't know if the other [Honda] riders have the plan but at the moment in my case, no.”

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