Mir in Qatar GP

Qatar,13th March 2024: A mostly covert weekend for the Repsol Honda Team saw Joan Mir build steadily throughout the Qatar GP, able to challenge the top ten and collect clear data on where to improve in the coming races. Marini completed his first Grand Prix as a Repsol Honda Team rider with greater ambitions to come.

Optimism was the word of the day for Joan Mir who put together a consistent ride after the turmoil on the grid which saw the race distance reduced. An aggressive start had Mir immediately gaining positions from 17th on the grid and moving into the point scoring positions. From here, the Repsol Honda Team rider set his sights on Fabio Quartararo and the top ten with the pair briefly battling Maverick Viñales before focusing on each other. With five laps to go, Mir took an opportunity to break away and secure 11th but his charge would come just moments too soon and he would have Quartararo and Zarco with him again as the race came to a close.

Crossing the line in 13th and 18.4 seconds from the winner, the most important aspect was the positive feeling and comfort he felt with the Repsol Honda Team RC213V. Mir and the team are adamant that this is the positive first step in a year of improvements – a confidence building result for the 2020 MotoGP World Champion.

On the other side of the Repsol Honda Team garage, Luca Marini was able to author another race finish. As with the Sprint race, the Italian spent the reduced 21-lap race distance working to improve his sensations with the Honda and understand his new bike over longer runs. Initially dropping back from the rest of the field, Marini made the most of his situation to study the KTM of Jack Miller for the majority of the race.

Now the paddock will head for Portugal and round two at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, March 22 to March 24. Both Mir and Marini are looking forward to getting back out on track and continuing their progress.

Joan Mir (13th)

“We made a great race, honestly. I started well and recovered a lot of positions straight away. It’s been a long time since I was able to enjoy riding like that, so that is really positive. Starting at the back isn’t easy, but we made good ground to be with Fabio for most of the race. In the last five laps I felt like I had a little bit more than Quartararo, so I overtook him and made a gap of one second. Then in the last two laps we dropped a lot, and we lost some positions, which isn’t ideal. But still we are pleased with everything we have done and always learning.”

Luca Marini (20th)

“It’s encouraging to see the other Honda riders, and especially Mir, fighting for good positions. For us, it has been a continuation of our weekend today and we had a small issue which limited us in the race. I was able to understand a lot of things during the race which is very important, especially when I realized Miller was behind – I let him pass to study a little bit what he was doing. I think this will help us to understand more and more, to take some positives. We need time to keep trying things and getting more comfortable.”

Qatar Grand Prix Race Results

 

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BAGNAIA FRANCESCO 1 ITA 25 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 39’34.869
2 BINDER BRAD 33 RSA 20 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.329
3 MARTIN JORGE 89 SPA 16 Pramac Racing Ducati 1.933
4 MARQUEZ MARC 93 SPA 13 Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 3.429
5 BASTIANINI ENEA 23 ITA 11 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 5.153
6 MARQUEZ ALEX 73 SPA 10 Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 6.791
7 DI GIANNANTONIO FABIO 49 ITA 9 Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team Ducati 9.161
8 ESPARGARO ALEIX 41 SPA 8 Aprilia Racing Aprilia 11.242
9 ACOSTA PEDRO 31 SPA 7 Red Bull GASGAS Tech 3 KTM 11.595
10 VINALES MAVERICK 12 SPA 6 Aprilia Racing Aprilia 13.197
11 QUARTARARO FABIO 20 FRA 5 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 17.701
12 ZARCO JOHANN 5 FRA 4 LCR Honda Honda 18.075
13 MIR JOAN 36 SPA 3 Repsol Honda Team Honda 18.437
14 BEZZECCHI MARCO 72 ITA 2 Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team Ducati 19.194
15 OLIVEIRA MIGUEL 88 POR 1 Trackhouse Racing Aprilia 20.717
16 RINS ALEX 42 SPA 0 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 24.093
17 FERNANDEZ AUGUSTO 37 SPA 0 Red Bull GASGAS Tech 3 KTM 24.106
18 MORBIDELLI FRANCO 21 ITA 0 Pramac Racing Ducati 24.641
19 NAKAGAMI TAKAAKI 30 JPN 0 LCR Honda Honda 25.556
20 MARINI LUCA 10 ITA 0 Repsol Honda Team Honda 42.422
21 MILLER JACK 43 AUS 0 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 42.761
22 FERNANDEZ RAUL 25 SPA DNF Trackhouse Racing Aprilia DNF

 

 

Rider standings

 

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
1 BAGNAIA FRANCESCO 1 ITA 31 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati
2 BINDER BRAD 33 RSA 29 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
3 MARTIN JORGE 89 SPA 28 Pramac Racing Ducati
4 MARQUEZ MARC 93 SPA 18 Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati
5 ESPARGARO ALEIX 41 SPA 15 Aprilia Racing