Joan Mir eyes ‘Greater Potential’ at Portimao, While Luca Marini Anticipates ‘Interesting Insights’ into Honda’s Performance.

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Joan Mir expresses optimism for Portugal: “I believe we can achieve more there. It’s a circuit I relish, and I see greater potential for us.”

Joan Mir, outside the top ten in Qatar, heads confidently to round two of the 2024 MotoGP season at Portimao, aiming for a stronger performance.

The former Suzuki world champion, now in his second season on the RC213V, secured 15th place in the Lusail Sprint, leading the Honda contingent. In the grand prix, he narrowly missed out on top Japanese bike honors to Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and LCR’s Johann Zarco, finishing 13th.

Looking ahead to Portimao, Mir anticipates a significant improvement in performance: “I am eager to get back on the bike and build on our progress from Qatar,” said Mir, now under the guidance of Santi Hernandez, former crew chief of Marc Marquez.

“There’s still a lot of work ahead, but after a solid start at a track that doesn’t favor us, I am confident we can achieve more in Portugal. It’s a circuit I enjoy, and I believe we have untapped potential there. I’m prepared to put in the work, make strides forward, and aim for another successful weekend aboard the Honda RC213V.”

Reflecting on his expectations for the season, Mir mentioned, “Last year, we had the same package throughout the season, which was mentally challenging to handle. This year, I foresee a change. I see that change now, and I hope Honda continues in this direction.”


Luca Marini, the new teammate, faced a challenging Repsol Honda debut in Qatar. He qualified 21st, finished last in the Sprint, and crossed the line ahead of only Jack Miller (who crashed and rejoined) in the Grand Prix.

“The most important thing for us right now is to keep pushing forward on the track, so I’m excited to head to Portugal and Portimao,” said Luca Marini. “It’s a circuit that offers a very different challenge compared to where we’ve started the year, so I’m curious to see how the Honda performs there.

“We’re in the midst of bike development, collaborating closely with Honda, and gathering valuable data from various circuits to enhance our competitiveness. Our goal is to establish a better connection with the bike to elevate our performance.”

Reflecting on the Qatar race, Marini had mentioned, “This is just the beginning, and we need to maintain a realistic and composed approach. I believe Joan and Johann had a solid race. We’re aware that we’re starting from a position far behind, and the competition at the front is intense with continuous bike development each year.

“Our task is to climb back up to the top, but it’s a gradual process that requires time. So, we’ll remain composed and strive to make incremental improvements each time we hit the track. This race provided valuable insights, which is crucial. It’s better to learn a lot, even if finishing 16th, rather than learn nothing. Because in both scenarios, zero points are gained.”

The action kicks off with free practice at Portimao on Friday morning.

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