Motorcycle Racing

Memorising Honda MotoGP bike start procedure “a nightmare”

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

The 2020 world champion was forced to look for a new ride for this season after Suzuki declared it would be quitting MotoGP at the end of 2022, with Mir eventually signing a two-year deal to join the factory Honda squad.

The pre-season testing phase has not been easy for Honda, with eight-time world champion Marc Marquez admitting after the Portugal test last weekend that the 2023 RC213V is only capable of fighting for between fifth and 10th place.

Mir – who was the top Honda rider at the end of the Portugal test in 13th – has had a similarly difficult time this winter adapting to the bike, noting: “About memorising everything, it’s been a nightmare because we have to do a lot of things with the front device.

“Then [you select] the neutral, which is not the normal neutral of a street bike, then stop, launch control down, check everything is on point, then start.

“It’s hard because with the Suzuki all of these things are in a different way. To change everything is difficult.

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“But it’s a matter of time. If you repeat it in the fifth race of the season, I will do it automatically.”

Mir has not embarked on his journey with Honda alone, as former Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins has joined LCR.

But more crucially for the Spaniard, Suzuki’s former technical chief Ken Kawauchi has also been hired by Honda to spearhead development of the RC213V.

Kawauchi’s arrival at Honda is “something great”, according to Mir.

“To see Ken-san in the box gives me confidence,” he said.

“We did unbelievable results together [at Suzuki], and to have him onboard in this process is something great. I’m thankful for living it with him. I think he can do a good job as he did in Suzuki.

“But we need a bit of time, both of us, to understand everything, to know all the people. I think we are on the way.”

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