Marquez to Mir: If one Repsol Honda rider cannot win, the other must!

The last time Repsol Honda signed a ‘dream team’ of two MotoGP world champions, Marc Marquez romped to his sixth title (with a new all-time points record) in 2019 but team-mate Jorge Lorenzo slumped to a career-worst 19th.
Marc Marquez and Joan Mir
Marc Marquez and Joan Mir

2020 champion Joan Mir now takes up the challenge, signing for HRC after Suzuki scrapped its MotoGP project.

Honda is going through its toughest time of the MotoGP era with just three wins in three seasons, while no Honda rider other than Marquez has won a race since Cal Crutchlow in 2018.

The RC213V is also a very different machine to the GSX-RR, but when asked at Wednesday's Madrid launch what Mir can bring to Repsol Honda this season, Marquez made his expectations clear:

“If one [Repsol Honda] rider cannot win then the other must win! So both of us need to be capable of winning races - if you wear these colours you have to, it’s a must.

“He’s [Mir] coming from a different brand but in Valencia and Malaysia we were both going in the same direction [with our feedback]. I really hope that we will both be competing in the races, fighting for the top positions.”

The last time both Repsol Honda riders won MotoGP races in the same season was when Marquez was teamed with Dani Pedrosa in 2017.

Marquez also used the ‘dream team’ phrase not heard since triple MotoGP champion Lorenzo's arrival in 2019, when Marquez had warned it meant nothing less than winning the triple crown of riders', constructors' and teams' titles.

“You’re always very passionate in the pre-season, very optimistic,” Marquez said at the launch. “We have a great dream team, Repsol Honda.

"It’s true the last 2-3 years of my career I’ve had injuries, but I’m great now. I’ve been working a lot this winter, also Honda has worked a lot to further improve the bike. If we combine all these elements we can only have the best results in this championship.”

Marquez has missed 25 races over the past three seasons due to arm and eye injuries but remained the top Honda rider in both the 2021 and 2022 standings with five podiums, including three race wins.

Mir's only MotoGP victory to date came at Valencia 2020. The former Moto3 world champion took six further podiums the following year but was left to settle for a best of fourth last season, when he was also sidelined for four races due to leg injuries in Austria.

Marquez (eight) and Mir (two) have won a total of ten world championships in all classes. The pair finished tenth (Marquez) and twelfth (Mir) fastest at the recent Sepang test.

Read More