Mir unsure «how long my body can take this» amid Honda MotoGP struggles

Despite a change in philosophy and the added advantage of MotoGP’s new concession system, Honda has so far been unable to turn its fortunes around, with the RC213V remaining the weakest bike on the grid.

Mir, now the lead rider in Honda’s stable after the exit of Marc Marquez to Gresini Ducati, has finished no higher than 12th in the first five grands prix of the year, while his new team-mate Luca Marini is yet to score a point on the sister bike.

The Spanish rider has admitted that he is not expecting an immediate improvement in the performance of the Japanese manufacturer, as it could still take time to build on the direction it found at the Jerez test last month. 

«We have the same bike we started the season with, we can’t ask for different results,” Mir conceded.

«We are suffering in specific areas. Every time I go into the box I complain about the same thing, we all know that, now it’s time for a reaction. 

“In the Jerez test they understood the path we have shown them and now we have to wait for these people to bring something in that direction, I don’t know how long [it will take] to start to see changes in that direction. That’s the reality.”

Mir, who is now in his second season with the beleaguered Tokyo-based marque, is aware of the impact the uncompetitive bike is having on his body.

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Marc Fleury

Asked how long he can wait for Honda to react and bring tangible improvements on its bike, the 2020 world champion said: «I have no idea, I say that and I am completely honest. I have no idea how long my body can take this. 

“I thought I wasn’t going to make it this far, and here I am. I’m trying to do my job as best I can, trying to be in front of everyone, trying to do good races, but you can’t expect miracles.»

Honda’s continued troubles in MotoGP come at a time when Mir is debating his future at the Repsol-backed team, with some paddock rumours suggesting he could be a good fit for the Trackhouse team, led by his former Suzuki boss Davide Brivio.

The 2020 champion made a poignant comment about how joining Honda has proved to be detrimental for a number of riders in recent years.

“The reality is that whoever leaves Honda in the last few years does worse than when they come in,” he said.

«That’s the reality and, besides, there is no exception, nobody leaves Honda better than they came in. You have to deal with this situation as best you can and try to see what I feel like doing. That is the issue. 

“I am convinced that we will have options, not the ones I would like, probably not, but we will have options. We are still giving gas and I am convinced that with a competitive bike we will be at the front in no time.”

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Marc Fleury

Mir feels he is now better able to handle the situation at Honda, as his own performance on track has improved even as the RC213V has fallen further behind its rivals.

«I’m calm, last year I would say that this situation was a little bit too much for me and I wasn’t performing at the level I could,” he said. “Now this bike is a lot worse than last year’s and I’ve been riding faster. 

“I’m in a better moment, I feel good physically and I see that the limitation is not me. On the contrary, last year I was hesitating and I wasn’t performing at the level expected of me.”

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