Repsol Honda has confirmed it will be back to full strength for this weekend’s MotoGP Grand Prix of The Americas at COTA, with Joan Mir returning to action and Stefan Bradl replacing the injured Marc Marquez.
The factory Honda squad endured a torrid Argentina MotoGP at the Termas de Rio Hondo after Marquez was sidelined with the hand injury he suffered at the preceding Portuguese MotoGP, while Mir qualified last-of-all before crashing on the opening lap of the Sprint Race and ruling himself out for the main feature.
While the recovering Marquez - a seven-time MotoGP race winner at COTA - is out of action once again, HRC has confirmed that Mir will be back on track, while Bradl has once more been called up to deputise.
The German has been Honda’s go-to substitute for Marquez’s multiple injury and surgery-related absences, so much so that he has racked up almost as many starts (23) on the factory RC213V as Marquez (28) since the start of the 2020 MotoGP season.
"First of all I want to wish Marc all the best in his recovery, as Honda we need him back on track. I arrive in Austin after a few days testing in Jerez where we were able to try a few things with the bike.
"It will be interesting to ride COTA again, I was last there racing in 2016 and will give me a chance to try the 2023 RC213V on a very different kind of track compared to what I have ridden so far this year. Let’s have a productive weekend and see what’s possible."
4 MotoGP races, 2 lap one DNFs, 1 penalty, 1 DNS
For 2020 MotoGP World Champion Mir, he is hoping the trip to Texas signals a change in fortune following a difficult start to life at Repsol Honda.
The Spaniard has so far crashed out of both Sprint Races on the opening lap and been forced to take a long-lap penalty in the main Portuguese MotoGP, while he missed the Argentina feature altogether.
"I am ready to get back on the bike in America, I have been able to spend this week at home recovering fully after the fall on Saturday and getting back to training.
"Last year I had a strong race in Austin and Honda also has a very strong record there, so the objective is to have a consistent weekend and avoid problems.
"If we can get a complete race weekend under our belts, I think we will be able to learn a lot and make another step because in the two races are where you are learning the most about the Honda."