Joan Mir: ‘We’ve been a lot faster than last year, I expect more in Qatar’

Joan Mir believes Honda are on the right track to becoming contender's once again in MotoGP.

Joan Mir, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February
Joan Mir, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February

Honda’s struggles in the last four MotoGP seasons have been evident, but a promising pre-season test in Sepang as Joan Mir happy about where they stand.

Honda have not done enough to suggest they can be challengers for race wins yet, however, the pace shown by Mir in particular was very strong at Sepang, particularly on day three. 

Seven tenths off Francesco Bagnaia who set a new unofficial lap record, Mir was pleased with both his one lap pace and race simulation.

“The reality is that we’ve been a lot faster than last year,” said Mir. “We have to be happy because we improved. On the other hand, we are not where we want to be.

“Today I was able to make a 57.3 which was a good lap time. When I was trying to make the second tyre work I crashed on the out lap at the final corner when I opened the line. 

“There was something on the track and I lost the front there. 

"So I couldn’t make the lap there and maybe I could have improved. When I pushed the lap time was there. 

“It’s not every day that you make a 57.3. This is a good lap time. We improved more than the others because we are closer.

“Then, we made ten laps in a row and I was able to stay in the 1m 58s which is not bad. I saw the laps of Pecco and Martin and they were in the 58 low/medium and I was in the 58 high.

“There is half a second there in pace with all the stuff we need to improve, but we know that we need to improve. We gave good comments and in Qatar we will have something more, I’m sure.”

While the RC213V has seemingly taken a step forward in many areas, it’s the front-end feeling that Mir is most excited about.

“I have a better feeling with the front,” added Mir. “This is great. I feel worse when the heat comes up. 

"When the track surface is high we don’t have a lot of grip so you have to work with the front, but the temperature rises up and it’s more difficult to stop the bike.

“That is a point where you always make a difference and we cannot make this difference.

“But we improved and we have to say that in Japan they did a very good job.

“I expect to have something more in Qatar. If we make another step forward we will be very close.”

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