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MotoGP Sepang February Testing

Mir "thinking more about Ducati" than Honda MotoGP team-mate Marquez

Honda’s Joan Mir is “thinking more about the Ducatis” than he is about where he is relative to team-mate Marc Marquez following the first MotoGP pre-season test of 2023.

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Mir, the 2020 world champion, joins Honda on a two-year deal from this season after being left without a ride when Suzuki elected to quit MotoGP at the end of 2022.

Having made his Honda debut in November in the post-race Valencia test, Mir spent three full days on the RC213V at Sepang this weekend, ending up 12th overall and just over a tenth of a second shy of eight-time world champion Marquez.

Mir says he is “enjoying” the process of adapting to the Honda, but echoed comments made by Marquez that the RC213V is “still far” from being as competitive as reigning world champions Ducati – who topped all three days of the Sepang test.

As a result, he says he is focused on closing that gap rather than on any personal pride in his inter-team battle with Marquez.

“I’m happy about these three days,” Mir began. “I was able to learn a lot and ride more in the style that the Honda asked to me.

“I’m enjoying riding in that way, so everyday I’m riding better and I’m enjoying the process.

“When you enjoy the process, everything is easier, and the lap times came faster and to ride only this bike for three or four days and to be able to be this competitive, I think it’s ok.

“But, we are still far from the Ducatis especially and the Aprilia. We need a step.

“Of course, you always look at your team-mate to see where the bike is. But if both of us improve to the Ducatis, I will be super happy. So, I’m thinking more about the Ducatis.”

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Honda worked through an exhaustive testing programme at Malaysia, with Marquez starting with four bikes initially.

PLUS: The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form

Comparing how Honda works compared to how Suzuki used to, Mir noted: “I’m happy about the way of working that they have.

“There are a lot more people listening to you than in Suzuki. This is nice, and also there’s a lot more people working behind you.”

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