Mir still has ‘a lot to learn’ as Puig admits Honda ‘clearly’ not happy

After finishing ahead of Marc Marquez on both days of the Portimao MotoGP Test, Joan Mir admits progress is being made with Honda although some things are still not ‘second nature’.
Joan Mir, Repsol Honda MotoGP Portimao 2023
Joan Mir, Repsol Honda MotoGP Portimao 2023

The 2020 MotoGP champion ended the two-day test fastest of all four Honda riders, which was the first time that’s happened during pre-season testing.

However, the gap from himself, Marquez and former Suzuki teammate Alex Rins remained significant to the leading Ducati riders.

That was also the case on day-one to the likes of Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales, Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira, suggesting a lot of work still needs to be done at Honda in order for the Japanese manufacturer to become a consistent challenger for wins once again. 

While not fully comfortable aboard the RC213V, Mir did admit that the Portimao test was a step in the right direction: "Today [Sunday] we were able to make some more progress forward in adapting to the Honda. There is still a lot I need to learn and adapt to because it’s still a new bike and some aspects that are not yet second nature. 

"Overall it has been an off-season of progress but of course as a rider you are always wanting more and more. 

"We head into the opening races wanting to keep improving and to see what’s possible."

Puig confirms Honda ‘must improve’ ahead of new MotoGP season

With testing over and little over a week to go before the new campaign gets underway, Honda are in a race against time to find more performance.

Joan Mir, Jorge Martin, , Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March
Joan Mir, Jorge Martin, , Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March

Marquez has already stated that fighting for wins and podiums is out of the question as it stands, while Team Manager at Repsol Honda, Alberto Puig, agrees.

"We have done a lot of tests, and tried a lot of components," Puig told MotoGP.com. "But we are still on the way. We cannot say that we’ve found what we are looking for yet.

"We still have work to do, this is the reality. When you check the lap times and you are 0.7s from the leaders, it means you must step up. You must improve.

"If you find a way, everything is positive. But if you have ‘yes’ and ‘no’ then you need to finally make that step.

"Honda are not where we want to be. We think we know what we can do. Are we 100% happy? Clearly, no. We need to improve, this is our main target and what we are going to do."

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