Repsol Honda Or Nothing? - Why Joan Mir Might Have To Take A Sabbatical Year
Ever since Suzuki announced its exit from MotoGP at the end of the 2022 season, the MotoGP rider market is in turmoil. Repsol Honda and Joan Mir are yet to find an agreement for 2023. Now, even a sabbatical year is a possibility for the Spaniard.
The silly season in 2022 is probably one of the extraordinariest situations on the rider market in years. With Suzuki’s exit more riders than ever are competing for the smallest number of seats in years.
For Joan Mir, victim of Suzuki’s exit, it was clear from the get-go that a seat at Repsol Honda would be the optimum for the 2023 season. However, now negotiations between the Japanese manufacturer and Mir stall.
Joan Mir’s manager Paco Sanchez – Image provided by Motorsport Images
In an interview with the Youtube channel TR MotoGP, Mir’s manager, Paco Sanchez, talks about the difficulties all riders without a seat are facing and how it influences his’ rider’s decisions.
Regarding the current market situatiuon, the Spaniard states: “This year we find ourselves in a different situation, motivated by Suzuki’s exit. We didn’t expect this and it revolutionized the market. With two more riders on the market, MotoGP is now at its best level ever”.
A level, at which it seems even a World Champion from 2020 can’t easily find a seat. In times where Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine are keeping the whole world in fear of a bigger recession, MotoGP teams are eager to keep costs and expenses as low as possible.
Salaries as we’ve seen before the pandemic are unachievable, including for Joan Mir and Paco Sanchez. As Sanchez states: “We are reaching an alarming niveau”.
In fact, the situation seems to be so bad that Mir’s camp are even considering a sabbatical year to wait or better times. In 2023, many rider contract will expire – a possible chance for Joan Mir.
For Mir, everything’s dependent on the Repsol Honda deal. According to his manager, the Spaniard has no other team available since offers from Ducati and other teams were lower than expected.
Sanchez states: “[Joan] knows the difficulties and at the moment Honda is the only team we have. If Honda does not comply, Joan will go home.”
He adds an alarming: “There is no plan B.”