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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Honda’s MotoGP state of affairs can’t be resolved in pre-season testing

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Honda heads into 2024 with the intention of arresting a interval of decline that has seen it stoop to the underside of the standings within the final two seasons and lose its star rider Marc Marquez to the Gresini Ducati workforce.

The Japanese marque has been working arduous over the winter to ship tangible enhancements to the RC213V, with each Mir and new signing Luca Marini getting an opportunity to place some further laps on the bike on the Sepang shakedown final week earlier than the complete subject converged on the Malaysian venue on Tuesday for the primary full-blown pre-season take a look at of the yr.

On the opening day of operating, Mir completed 14th within the timesheet with a time of 1m58.741s, eight tenths slower than the tempo set by Jorge Martin on the Pramac Ducati. That put him second among the many Honda contingent, 4 locations and a tenth behind LCR rider Johann Zarco.

Whereas the 2020 champion was once more impressed by the trouble that has gone into creating the bike, he felt that Honda really went a step backwards in sure areas on Tuesday in comparison with the shakedown.

“We did not enhance the bike at this time, the bottom that we had on the shakedown. And I did not really feel snug,” he defined.

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“Possibly we made the braking and the sensation with the entrance a bit worse at this time and that’s not serving to for the primary two sectors. However then however, we’re quick in sector 3. 

“We try some issues, [like] at this time on the seat, to see somewhat bit what’s the optimum place. The handlebars, the footpegs. 

“Typically I really feel not unhealthy, higher than final yr. I will experience a bit extra comfortably, to shut the handlebar a bit extra. 

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Staff

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“If in case you have a greater feeling with the entrance you may shut a bit extra. This can be a good sign. 

“For the time being we’re nonetheless lacking some efficiency.

“Tomorrow now we have much less issues to strive fortuitously and we will likely be specializing in the small print that in the long run makes you’re feeling these final tenths of the brand new bike, that final restrict you may attain on the brand new bike and to know a bit extra.”

Mir was in an upbeat temper when he examined a earlier model of Honda’s 2024 contender at Valencia in November, saying it was the first time Honda brought to a test new parts that actually worked.

However whereas he was nonetheless pleased in regards to the adjustments the Japanese marque is making within the background, he conceded the RC213V just isn’t nonetheless the place he desires it to be – and it’ll take greater than two weeks of testing to repair its issues.

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“I used to be pleased at the moment and I am nonetheless pleased as a result of I really feel that the work they’re doing is an effective job,” he mentioned.

“They’re working so arduous and that is one thing I actually admire. However the actuality is that we’re not in the meanwhile the place we wish. 

“So I wish to be optimistic however final yr was a really, very arduous yr for me. And I do not wish to suppose we will resolve this example by a few exams as a result of there’s a lengthy highway to do, to proceed enhancing and every part. 

“We aren’t the place we wish in the meanwhile however I might be pleased.”

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