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HomeSportHonda agrees two-year MotoGP contract renewal with Joan Mir

Honda agrees two-year MotoGP contract renewal with Joan Mir

by News7

Joan Mir will continue to ride for the factory Honda team until the end of the 2026 season after agreeing a contract renewal with the Japanese marque, Motorsport.com has learned.

The development also means that the 2017 Moto3 and 2020 MotoGP champion will remain in the premier class for another two years, taking his career tally to eight seasons already.

The Spaniard made his debut with Suzuki in 2019 and won the championship in only his second season, before Suzuki’s sudden exit from MotoGP prompted him to move to Honda in 2023.

Since joining the Tokyo-based manufacturer, Mir has contested a total of 22 grands prix, but is yet to score a podium or a pole position. A fifth-place finish achieved on MotoGP’s visit to India last September remains his best result on the Honda.

Although no rider has been able to make the RC213V work in recent years, Honda has valued Mir’s progress and the role he has played in the development of the beleaguered bike.

Mir is also currently Honda’s highest-placed rider in the championship standings, holding 18th place with 13 points. He has four more points on his tally than LCR’s Johann Zarco (19th) and has outscored Taakaki Nakagami (20th) by five points. Team-mate Luca Marini sits 24th having yet to open his tally in 2024.

Although a number of names have cropped up as potential options for Honda, the reality is that it had always seen Mir as its first option. As such, HRC has now come to a verbal agreement to keep him in its line-up for another two seasons, with an announcement expected soon.

The decision also offers stability at the factory team, with Marini already tied to the squad until the end of 2025. Zarco also has a contract to race a Honda with LCR next year.

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Outside of Honda trio Mir, Marini and Zarco, a number of riders have valid contracts for 2025: Marc Marquez will join Francesco Bagnaia at Ducati, Brad Binder and Pedro Acosta will race for KTM, Maverick Vinales and Enea Bastianini will team up at Tech3, Fabio Quartararo will lead Yamaha, while Jorge Martin will join Aprilia.

Retirement threat thwarted

This development has poured cold water on rumours that Mir could potentially prematurely retire from MotoGP after the 2024 season.

After a troubled start to the year and pre-season tests in which the steering of the bike had completely deviated from his instructions, Mir seriously considered hanging up the helmet at the age of 27.

However, in recent tests, Honda has rectified the course and it seems that there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel, giving Mir some hope about the development of the RC213V.

Another positive news is that Honda is still negotiating long-standing contracts about its own future, which means that a Suzuki-style farewell will not be on the cards before 2027.

The same year, new technical regulations are set to come into force in MotoGP, offering Japanese manufacturers to catch up with their European rivals.

Source : Motorsport.com

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