Mir to return at Circuit of the Americas

Joan Mir

Joan Mir will return to action at the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas for Repsol Honda this weekend, where injured Marc Marquez will be replaced by Stefan Bradl.

Mir crashed in the Sprint race in Argentina and was ruled out of the main Sunday race at Termas de Rio Hondo, while Marquez remains sidelined after fracturing the first metacarpal of the thumb of his right hand in the season-opener at Portimao in Portugal last month, after he collided with Miguel Oliveira.

Spaniard Mir, who achieved his equal best finish of the year in 2022 with fourth place in Texas, said: “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 have 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 the two races are where you are learning the most about the Honda.”

HRC test rider Bradl has been drafted in to ride the factory RC213V in Marquez’s absence at the Circuit of the Americas, where he last raced in 2016.

“First of all I want to wish Marc all the best in his recovery, as Honda, we need him back on track,” Bradl said.

“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 [it] 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.”

GasGas Tech3 KTM’s Pol Espargaro also misses out this weekend after a nasty crash in free practice in Portugal in March. Espargaro will be replaced by test rider Jonas Folger, who makes his racing return in MotoGP for the first time since 2017.

Ducati’s Enea Bastianini is also absent after his crash in Portugal, when he sustained a broken right shoulder blade when he was hit by VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini. Test rider Michele Pirro will fill in for Bastianini in the factory team alongside Francesco Bagnaia in Texas.

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