After Mir confirmed that talks had already taken place with HRC, Honda have since confirmed that preliminary discussions with both Mir and Alex Rins have been held.
After the shock news that Suzuki will depart MotoGP at the conclusion of this season, both Mir and Rins’ future have been extremely hot topics.
With both riders expected to renew their contracts with Suzuki before the decision to leave MotoGP was taken by the Hamamatsu-based manufacturer, it now means two of the most in-form riders of 2022 have joined an already sizzling rider market.
What the addition of Mir and Rins to the available list of riders does do, is put one name at Honda under severe pressure…
That name being Pol Espargaro.
The Spaniard, who has already hit back at ‘fake’ speculation regarding his future in the lead up to Le Mans, is considered to be at risk of losing his seat to Mir in particular.
Not just with Espargaro, but Honda could also make changes with both its LCR seats – one of those could involve Ai Ogura replacing Takaaki Nakagami, while Alex Marquez’s future with the Japanese manufacturer is also in doubt.
Honda the favorite to sign 2020 MotoGP champion Mir?
While other options are likely to be available for both Mir and Rins – Aprilia, Yamaha and KTM could all provide the two Spaniards with competitive rides, Mir is considered the favorite for the second Repsol Honda seat.
Earlier in the week, Mir was quoted in the Spanish media as saying the challenge of being team-mate to Marc Marquez ‘wouldn’t intimate me’.
Speaking about both riders and what Suzuki pulling out of the premier class means for the rider market, Puig told MotoGP.com: “I think it changes not just for us, but for everyone. I mean, there will now be two more riders available .
“It’s completely unexpected but it’s as simple as that. Now there will be more riders and less bikes.
“Obviously, when these guys received the news, I think they contacted everyone and they contacted us also. They will ask, and of course, we will listen to what they have to say.”
Although Puig was in no mood to elaborate on any discussions had with both Mir and Rins, the ex-Grand Prix racer said HRC’s strategy of how they go about their ‘target’ won’t be influenced by Mir and Rins becoming available.
‘They contacted us, Honda will always listen’ – Puig
“It will not change our target or our concept of what we wanted and how we wanted to make decisions.” Puig continued. “But there are two more options.
“Let’s say, our approach for next year was planned way before this Suzuki story happened and it will not modify our strategy. I can’t talk about other companies, but they both contacted us and we talked.
“If a rider wants to talk to Honda, then Honda will always listen. We respect the rider and have to listen to what they say.”