Marquez: ‘Racing and testing very different’, Mir set for moment ‘I dreamed of’

Marc Marquez says results from pre-season testing could have little bearing on how the opening MotoGP round of 2023 shakes out.
Joan Mir, Marc Marquez, Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March
Joan Mir, Marc Marquez, Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March

Tests in Valencia, Sepang and Portimao painted an ugly picture for Honda as they attempt to become MotoGP challengers again.

Repsol Honda, who are the most successful team in the sport’s history, have not won since the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Misano in 2021, while Marquez’s three wins that season remain their only three since winning the title together in 2019. 

But for Marquez, who is finally fit to start a MotoGP season after injury problems caused complicated starts to 2021 and 2022, will look to make a statement at the Portimao round.

Marquez is yet to win at the Portuguese circuit, and although such a result appears unlikely based on pre-season testing performance, racing is a completely different ball game according to the eight-time world champion.

"The start of another season is here, and you always get this excitement and feeling before you go racing again," said Marquez. "We’ve had a busy off season where we have been gathering a lot of data and aiming for the future. 

"Now we must start and focus on the opening races and remember that racing and testing are very different. 

"This year we have the new challenge of the Sprint on Saturday, a short and intense race that I am sure will bring the fans a lot of excitement. I’m really looking forward to getting back on the Honda RC213V for the 11th season with the Repsol Honda Team."

Joan Mir set for ‘dream’ MotoGP moment with Honda


A world champion with Suzuki in 2020, which would have been a dream accomplishment, Mir is set for another huge moment in his career as he makes his first official appearance for Repsol Honda.

Calling it a ‘dream’ of his, as did Pol Espargaro before enduring a nightmare time with the Japanese manufacturer, Mir will be hoping to make a bigger and more consistent impact at the front of the field compared to what his fellow Spaniard achieved. 

Speaking ahead of the weekend, Mir added: "My racing debut with the legendary colours of the Repsol Honda Team is now just a few days away. It’s a moment I have dreamed of, to line up on the grid as a Repsol Honda Team rider. 

"There’s still work to be done, we still have some things to confirm and improve but racing brings a different kind of intensity. 

"Let’s see what we can do in Portimao, the important point is to keep building from where we finished the test and make consistent steps forward."

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