What Alberto Puig Believes Is Important For The Future Of Honda
Repsol Honda team principal Alberto Puig believes he knows what Honda needs for 2023 and explains why Joan Mir plays a big part in that.
Honda’s performance curve has been steadily steepening heading right into crisis mode in recent years.
For 2023, they want to change that and hope that with the signing of Joan Mir, they will at least be able to combat the uneven distribution of points within the factory team.
Team boss Alberto Puig believes that a Honda is needed with which both riders can compete for victory.
“History tells us that in a team like Repsol Honda, we need to be able to win races with both riders.”
However, looking at Repsol Honda’s recent history, it appears that they have focused too much on the ability of top star Marc Marquez.
Both the Spaniard’s teammates and all Honda customer riders have had a difficult time since 2017.
Neither three-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo, nor Alex Marquez or Pol Espargaro have been able to live up to expectations lately.
Solely Cal Crutchlow, other than Marquez, has been able to wrest a race win from the Honda at all.
“But it’s true that in the last few years Marc has been the only one to succeed – and he’s done it with only one and a half arms in the last few years,” Puig acknowledges.
He knows Honda’s huge dependency on Marc Marquez can’t be healthy for the team. “Marc [Marquez] has always been there and it has meant that, despite his problems, he has been the reference.”
Joan Mir and the "right moment"
The signing of Joan Mir is supposed to help Honda revive the competition within the team. The 2020 World Champion comes to the Japanese after a difficult last season with Suzuki and hopes to be able to fight for top positions on the Honda as well.
Alberto Puig is full of praise for the 25-year-old: “Sometimes things go well, sometimes badly. In Joan’s case, we believe he has many qualities that fit very well with our mentality.”
“When you sign a rider, you choose first of all a fast rider and also one who has experience. Joan has won two world titles, one of them well deserved with Suzuki. We thought it was the right moment and that he would be good for the team.”