The MotoGP champion taking inspiration from Marquez’s gamble –


Less than a year after taking control of his destiny by asking Honda to cancel an existing deal for 2024, Marc Marquez has repaid his gamble in every way except money – and that was the only aspect he was ready and willing to sacrifice anyway.

But the success of Marquez’s on-track adaptation and the massive success of his off-track maneuvers to get the best ride in next year’s MotoGP world championship is not enough context.

To really feel the magnitude of the achievement, you also have to imagine what would have happened had he decided to continue with Honda, and what his weekends would have looked like in 2024.

Marquez’s former Honda teammate, Joan Mir, knows the answer all too well. And unlike Fabio Quartararo – Yamaha’s talisman who decided that Marquez’s move was ultimately not for him and that he could wait and see where Yamaha could take him while being generously compensated for his patience – Mir looks like a ready-made rider willing to take matters into his own hands.

“I need to have all the options on my table to make a decision,” Mir said after the virtually rainy Mugello World Championship test, while acknowledging that he will need to make a decision by the time the MotoGP World Championship resumes after the season’s current impromptu summer break. Racing Assn.

“Saying I know exactly where I want to go, that’s not my state now. My state is not that state.

“I don’t know where I want to go. So I’ll wait until I have all the offers on the table, and that’s how I’ll choose.”

Like Marquez and Quartararo, Mir is a MotoGP world champion. But Mir is no fool and is under no illusions that he can command the same level of attention as two riders who, despite not having won races since 2021 and 2022 respectively, will easily compete with the top five MotoGP riders on the grid. Current, at worse.

For his part, Mir’s stock was first eroded by an incident-filled final season at Suzuki, then completely torpedoed by a terrible first season with Honda in which both Marquez and former Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins shone brighter than ever. He threatened.

Both left the Honda ranks in the off-season, and Mir has rallied himself enough to make at least a credible push to Honda’s lead. But he’s still crashing at an unsustainable rate, his DNF total across 44 overall starts at Honda now standing at – forgive me here, Joan – a frankly putrid 19.

This does not make attractive reading for any potential employer. But Mir himself says there’s nothing Honda riders can get done – given the current state of the RC213V.

“Sometimes it doesn’t matter, people are thinking about which bike you’re using, of course,” Mir added. “But there is one thing you said [before] It’s that no one comes out of Honda better than they entered it.

“When I came to Honda, I had many offers. I could go anywhere I wanted. Now that’s not the case.

“I have to wait for the others, who have priority. Because I have to show them [teams]. This is a little reality.

“It doesn’t matter what you did in the past. Now the others who are achieving results, at the moment, four or five riders have priority. Then we are behind.”

Even Marquez, Mir feels, has had his market value affected by this – although it is worth noting that Marquez’s market during his departure from Honda in late 2023 was not a fair reflection of the interest he would have received as a genuine free agent earlier this year. the chapter.

“Mark also had value when he moved to Gressini. And you know what happened, he went to Gressini. Not to a factory. And his value is greater than mine!”

“And that’s the reality. Nowadays, in the MotoGP World Championship it’s a bit like that.”

Last year, Mir’s situation was so bad that he was really thinking about retiring. Despite the speculation, he insists he is not in that position this year.

Obviously, part of this is due to his true free agent status, which he wouldn’t have had last year. Because the way Mir talks about things – and despite some hints of recent progress, including a new aero package that helped overcome the RC213V’s significant weakness when turning – he sounds like a rider dreaming of better times in someone else’s colours, rather than a Riding. Who thinks he could be the face of Honda’s revival.

“I don’t think I’ll come home. Maybe later, when I get offers, I’ll think about it [going home],” He said.

“But if you move from that difficult situation from Honda… once you start competing again, your mind will completely change. If you feel like you’re doing the same thing, then you’re there where you deserve to be and where your qualities are.” Everything changes and you might want to stay another 10 years.

“But the thing is to move on from this situation.”

And if that chart sounds familiar, it won’t shock you to learn that Mir has been talking to his former teammate — with whom his longtime crew chief Santi Hernandez currently works at Honda — about these very topics.

“I spoke several times with Mark about this, how he felt last year and how he feels now,” Mir admitted. “And that’s a little…I had an example, a line I could follow or another, to stay in this situation. So, I don’t know.”

He seems to know that, but it depends on competing offers. This in turn depends largely on the actual shape the MotoGP grid takes next year in terms of bikes (for example, whether Yamaha succeeds in luring Pramac away from Ducati), but one theory that is relatively independent of that is Aprilia’s Trackhouse.

It’s a new team but one with a good bike, a team run by Mer’s former Suzuki boss Davide Brivio, and a team that began its career looking for experienced MotoGP options, despite its continued association with the American Moto2 candidate. Joe Roberts.

“We are discussing with Davide,” said Massimo Rivola, Aprilia’s head of motorsport, when asked about the Trackhouse lineup for 2025. “We are, for example, very much in agreement, Davide and I.”

“We also have the same feelings about the riders.

“I think Trackhouse has a bright future because they are also moving into the technicians market for next year. They will be selecting the riders – obviously I will say what I think about that.

“They currently have good riders [in Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez]. However, I think they did not show all the potential they have. And when they choose, let’s see if they do it [contracted] Through us or not.”

When asked about the presence of an American – namely Roberts – in Trackhouse’s 2025 list, Rivola had a clearer answer: “I don’t think that will be the case, because the market can now offer us very good services.” [established] Riders. I think David said in an interview that it’s not appropriate for Trackhouse to make young riders grow up at Aprilia Racing, and I agree with that.

“I think we have to go to market now – it’s very fast, and we’ve shown it’s fast [by signing Jorge Martin] “And choosing the best possible riders for the four-wheeler.”

Mir certainly fits who Rivola is talking about – in fact, he might fit him better than any of the other potential external recruits.

The new Trackhouse team is no Gresini with its track record of winning in MotoGP, and the Aprilia bike is no Desmosedici – not yet, anyway.

But this is the kind of ride that Mir might look back on as his golden ticket to a fresh start – especially after his ‘adviser’ Marquez parlayed his fresh start into the best ride on the grid.



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