“I often wonder what I’m doing here.”


Joan Mir (Palma de Mallorca, 1-9-1997) is MotoGP world champion in 2020 and after a season and a half he found the unpleasant surprise that Suzuki decided to abandon the championship, news that he learned in 2022 in Jerez where it was interviewed. He accepted the challenge of Repsol Honda and became Marc Márquez’s teammate in 2023. But he has arrived at what is the best team in the world at the worst moment in its history. 93 left the current project last year and 36 remained in charge. But his best result in the 19 GPs he contested was fifth in India’23 and he did not finish ten of those races. In 2024 he had four falls and 12th in Portimao and Jerez was his best result.

Before the interview I asked Repsol Honda press officer Harry Lloyd how he was seeing him and he replied that he was happy. This surprised me.

It’s gotten to the point where I don’t consider the slump and lack of results to blame. This is a situation I cannot control at the moment. I also don’t know when this will end and I’m at the point of dealing with the situation as best I can and doing things as professionally as I can, although it’s difficult. In the end you are worth it for what you did in your last career and since we got here they have not been good. This is a situation that I chose, but I hope that it will be a little different in the second year, but they have not found the key.

A year ago, at the end of the Jerez GP, you declared that you had a brutal lack of confidence. How is it different from the previous one?

Now it’s not like that, I have good confidence, I’m riding well, but that’s all. Last year I lacked confidence that I lost in crashes at the beginning of the season, now when I have to push, I push and, in the bad situation we are in, in a race like in Austin you forget. I did five laps catching the whole group ahead, but then I didn’t do lap six. My head wanted it, but the bike wasn’t ready to do better.

During this time, have you asked yourself what I am doing here at Honda in this situation if I am a world champion?

Yes, this is a question I have often asked myself since I arrived.

The last year with Suzuki was not easy either

It’s not, it’s not. This is an extraordinary situation because of what happened. I was going through a bad time professionally, like this

Casey Stoner left it at the age of 27 and this September you’ll be back. Do you see yourself doing Stoner by the end of this year?

No no. I want to move forward in this situation, but I don’t know how long I can take it. At the end of the year my contract runs out. Honda has too few races to show if they are really on the right track to convince me if I want to stay.

Where is your balance currently leaning?

Do you know what’s going on? I can’t think about so many things, I can’t handle this situation in a good way mentally thinking what I will do next year. It’s hard to be motivated in this situation to think that next year I won’t continue. I don’t want to think about it, I keep up with the sun.

Where do you get your motivation from?

You have to learn to do this. I work on the psychological aspect and a question that helps me a lot is ‘If you give up now, at some point in the future, will you regret it or not? And the answer for now is yes, I will regret it if I don’t continue the fight and overcome this situation. My total priority is for these people to build a motorcycle that I can defend myself with. And if I have the bike to get into the top-10, I will work hard to reach the podium. If I have a bike that’s late, I’ll get to the top-10, but I won’t do anything else.

You who fight for podiums and victories – you have 12 wins and 33 total World Championship podiums – what is racing life beyond the top-10?

Shit (laughs). Racing is more stressful because you’re fighting people you don’t have to face.

When you said Austin had to make a tough decision, what were you referring to?

In the direction of motorcycle evolution. And they listened to me and in the Jerez test we got the direction I asked for. I see that the Japanese work. The test we did in Montmeló before Jerez didn’t go well in terms of parts, but it went well in terms of getting them on track and I think they understood it. At least these people realized and know how to build a motorcycle, it’s only a matter of time before they do, I’m already on the boat. They need to push hard in that direction to take the final step, but before the break will be difficult.

At the test in Valencia in November he seems to have found a competitive bike, less heavy, longer, and his statements are positive What happened then? Where did you go astray?

A bit of a boom was made in the press about the 8 kilos lost. Luca (Marini, his new partner) is super happy, but if you remember I’m not that happy. The grip improved, it might have been a good first step to move forward, but then the evolutions that had to come to make the bike better in the direction we were going came, but it didn’t work and we got worse. In Sepang I saw that it was worse, we lost the brakes entering the curve, there was nothing, ‘but we will bring more horses, more grip, aerodynamics to turn’ and it has come, but it hasn’t worked yet.

A few days ago his former teammate Marc Márquez said that ‘if I spend one more year with the team I will end my career because my mental health depends on it.’

I totally agree. Look, with the birth of my son my way of thinking changed, it gave me a lot of motivation because you think ‘okay, we already won two world championships at the beginning of my career in sports’. I started at 22 years old with two titles (Moto3 in 2017 and MotoGP in 2020) in five years in the World Championship, an outrage. But of course the bad years come and you say ‘this is not what I want to do’. Then the child is born (on July 22, 2023) and I say to myself ‘I want this child to remember me as I am, not like this now’. And it gives you the motivation, call it survival, call it instinct, to keep going and I’m very good at it.

We are in the contract year. When will you make a decision about your future?

I do not know. I always try to be very clear and natural and I’ll tell you one thing, it’s not clear to me because I don’t know what to do either. I don’t know if with these guys we can find a path of development in two years, a rider who won six titles with this bike couldn’t stand it for all the money in the world and go on a satellite Ducati to get you out of here. If I can advance this situation, it will be a beautiful, amazing challenge. But the truth is we’re still here in the shit (laughs). I would like to give myself time, but I can’t sleep either. People will start signing and if I stay in a ‘yes, no’ situation, I might have to eat it even if I don’t want to.

What’s more important, wanting to win again or promoting this Honda project?

In the two years that I spent, if this year they were not able to achieve a good result or finish the year strong, it is because here at Honda I failed, like Valentino failed at Ducati, or riding well in Honda. But it’s more important if you don’t get ahead of it.

Source: La Verdad


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