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Honda signs 2020 MotoGP champion Joan Mir for 2023

Honda has finally announced it has signed 2020 MotoGP world champion Joan Mir to join Marc Marquez at its factory squad in 2023.  

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Mir had been linked to a move to Honda for much of this season, but that became a much greater probability when Suzuki announced it would be quitting MotoGP at the end of the 2022 campaign.  

The 2020 world champion said during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend that he was “very close” to agreeing a deal with Honda. 

Now, on the eve of this weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, Honda has announced it has signed Mir to a new two-year deal to partner six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez at its factory squad from 2023.  

He will replace Pol Espargaro, who returns to the KTM fold with the rebranded Tech 3 GasGas team next year.

Mir will join fellow Suzuki rider Alex Rins in making a switch to Honda for 2023, after the latter penned a two-year deal directly with HRC to race for LCR.  

Rins takes the place of Alex Marquez, who will join the Gresini squad on a year-old Ducati next year. 

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Dorna

Mir will not be present on track at this weekend’s Misano round after fracturing his right foot in a lap one crash at the Austrian GP.  

His place at Suzuki will be taken by Suzuki endurance racer Kazuki Watanabe, who will make his MotoGP debut at Misano having previously contested five grands prix in the 250cc/Moto2 class in 2009 and 2010.  

With Mir signed to Honda, all factory team seats have been secured for the 2023 season. 

Only the remaining Tech 3 GasGas seat, VR46 Ducati, RNF Aprilia and second LCR Honda remain on the market.  

However, it is unlikely that there will be any change at VR46 with Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi staying on, while RNF looks set to take on Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira.  

Takaaki Nakagami’s place at LCR has looked in doubt for some time, but Moto2 ace Ai Ogura has recently stated he doesn’t want to step up to MotoGP in 2023 – which could offer a reprieve to his fellow Japanese rider Nakagami.  

Ducati recently announced it had signed Enea Bastianini to join its factory team to replace KTM-bound Jack Miller, while Jorge Martin will remain with Pramac alongside Johann Zarco

 

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