Mir admits he’s “really surprised” by Honda’s MotoGP pace

MotoGP championship leader Joan Mir admits he’s surprised by the pace Honda riders displayed during Friday’s practices at the Teruel Grand Prix at Aragon.

LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami ended Friday fastest of all after topping FP2, while Aragon GP podium finisher Alex Marquez was quickest in the morning session.

Mir was fifth overall having done most of his work in the afternoon session on his less-preferred medium tyre, but concedes Honda has “found something” in the week since the Aragon GP.

“For sure it will be more equal, because [everyone has done] a lot of laps on this track, [gathered] a lot of information,” Mir said when asked by Motorsport.com if he was worried about the pace those around him displayed on Friday. “I’m really surprised about the Hondas. They are really, really fast.

“So, they’ve found something because all the riders – even the test rider [Stefan Bradl] – is super-fast. So, it will be interesting to see how those bike will be in the race. I think at the moment Nakagami is the one who has the better pace probably.

“On paper we are quite close, but we also practiced with the tyre that normally I don’t like – with the medium. So let’s see if with the soft I feel a bit better, which is normally the race tyres. And then we’ll see how the pace is.”

Mir was over 10km/h slower than the fastest Ducati down the back straight at Aragon on Friday, but is unworried by this, as he was running a well-used engine.

“I think the package we have at the moment is quite good, I’m not worried at all about the power,” he added. “But probably we are with used engines and this is something you can see and you can feel. I feel great with the bike, just in the race the only problem was the front tyre was a bit destroyed on the left side.

“Looks like with some settings we use more the front tyre, so this is what we’re working on to understand because it’s important to not have this problem. This cost us the fight for the win in the last race.”

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