Honda boss says ‘package not ready’ for Luca Marini, Joan Mir

Honda team manager Alberto Puig says the RC213V is not yet ready for Luca Marini and Joan Mir to be competitive heading into the new MotoGP season.

Luca Marini, Qatar MotoGP test, 19 February
Luca Marini, Qatar MotoGP test, 19 February

Both Luca Marini and Joan Mir were impacted at the Qatar MotoGP test by sickness, which reduced their time on track just when it mattered most.

Although Honda have made steps forward compared to 2023, the gaps to the likes of Ducati remain sizable. 

Johann Zarco, who was the quickest Honda rider at Lusail, was 17th and over 1.2 seconds down on Francesco Bagnaia’s top time.

19th and 20th came the full factory duo as Marini suffered from a virus on the opening day, before vomiting led to Mir missing most of day-two.

“Unfortunately our two riders have been ill,” Puig told “On Monday Luca [Marini] had a virus in his stomach and today [Tuesday] it was Joan [Mir]; he was not on track so much so because of this we could not do so many tests.

“The package is not ready for them. Not because they could not ride today, but we are still looking for the best setting, best compromise for the grand prix.

“This is the current situation. We know where we improved and where we still need to improve.

“We’re trying to speed that up as much as possible with the things we need to improve to receive them before the start of the championship. 

“We understand that the bike is a package. It’s not only aero that we have to work on. We have to fix other areas of the bike.

“You cannot just fix one thing with these bikes nowadays. We think we can improve in some other areas.”

Puig also spoke about the concessions which will help Honda more than most.

However, Honda have not yet put in place a concrete plan for when and where their riders will test throughout 2024.

Puig said: “We are trying to understand what are the best options to have a plan. We don’t have a closed plan yet.

“The program will be interesting and helpful for the development of the bike.”

Read More