“Motivation” sympathy offered amid Joan Mir’s despair

“Is it better to go and do something else?"

Joan Mir, MotoGP, Grand Prix of the Americas, 13 April
Joan Mir, MotoGP, Grand Prix of the Americas, 13 April

Joan Mir’s second season with Repsol Honda is unlikely to be much better than his first.

Last year, Mir publicly discussed a shock retirement just months after leaving Suzuki.

A crash-ridden 2023 has given way to a new season and Mir’s best result, after four rounds, is P12 in Portimao.

It is a far cry from 2020 when Mir became the MotoGP champion with Suzuki.

His future - and a possible future outside of MotoGP - was debated at last weekend’s Jerez round.

“It’s a tough one,” Sylvain Guintoli said on TNT Sports.

“You get to a point - just like Marc Marquez did at Honda - where you lose motivation.

“Is it better to go and do something else?

“It’s a tough one for Honda in that situation. They’ve got to manage the performance side, make the bike better.

“They also have to manage the riders, and their motivation. You have to keep your guys motivated.

“These guys are still the best in the world - they could go into another series and get some wins, they could be tempted to do something else.

“Because it does get depressing. You’ve got more than 20 races but, basically, you are just racing and testing all year.

“If your bike is not up to the task, it’s a tough one to keep the motivation.”

Neil Hodgson replied: “He’s not old. I know Joan, he’s obsessive.

“If you are his manager, you’re trying to get him on a Ducati or on a KTM.”

Mir wouldn’t be the first rider to quit Honda in recent years.

“Look at the Marquez brothers,” Guintoli said.

“Happy faces. Everyone is laughing in the box.

“They are on ten-times less money but are having fun, and are in the mix to win races.”

Mir finished P9 in last weekend’s sprint (largely due to the huge amount of crashes in front of him) then P12 in the grand prix at Jerez.

Repsol Honda teammate Luca Marini is faring even worse in his first rounds on the bike, since joining from VR46.

Overall, Honda are bleakly at the back of the MotoGP and are watching on as even Yamaha, their fellow Japanese-manufactured strugglers, are outperforming them.

Mir, still only 26, is into the final year of his Honda contract so could be targeted to go elsewhere.

But after two seasons of poor results, blighted by his below-par machinery, he may find himself with something to prove as new, hungry contenders jostle for the best seat on the 2025 grid.

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