Luca Marini: Joan Mir made "huge step, was doing a great race”

Luca Marini: "Joan can make a huge step over a race weekend and today was doing a great race in my opinion."

Joan Mir, Luca Marini, 2024 French MotoGP
Joan Mir, Luca Marini, 2024 French MotoGP

Luca Marini may have been the only Repsol Honda rider to reach the finish of Sunday’s French MotoGP at Le Mans, in last place, but he was impressed by the pace of team-mate Joan Mir.

Mir qualified 18th and crashed out of last in Saturday’s Le Mans Sprint, but made a big improvement in pace during the grand prix.

While the other three Hondas set the slowest race laps, Mir managed 14th best – effectively equal with Alex Marquez’s Gresini Ducati – before he crashed out of 15th place at the midway stage.

“The important thing to take away from today is the feeling that I had on the bike,” Mir said. “After yesterday and the [grip] issue we had, it was great to be able to make another step with the setting and have a good pace in the race.

“I was able to confirm my feelings and I want to say thanks to the Repsol Honda Team for their work today, they provided me with a bike where I could attack.

“It’s important to remain focused on the positive, which is the pace we showed and the work we are doing. Now we go to Mugello [private test] to check a few things.”

Marini was quick to credit Mir’s Sunday performance and admits he needs to replicate the former MotoGP champion’s improvements over a race weekend.

“It was another long race for us where we are working on those same areas that are troubling us,” said Marini, referring to a lack of turning and acceleration with the RC213V.

“What I don’t understand is that I start Friday with a pace and I keep the same pace until Sunday. While Joan can make a huge step over a race weekend and today was doing a great race in my opinion.

“I am missing this step a little bit so we need to understand that. I am looking forward to Mugello for the [private] test. I am sure that we can find something there and bring it into Barcelona.”

Marini is yet to score points as a Honda rider, with Mir the top Honda rider, in 18th, with twelve points.

The Honda riders will have one day on track at Mugello before heading for the Catalunya round on May 24-26.

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