Valuable Sprint finishes for Repsol Honda Team pair
MotoGP 2023 Round 3, Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas
Austin, April 16, 2023: Joan Mir and Stefan Bradl collected important data over the course of the Americas GP Sprint race, taking 12th and 18th place respectively.
Saturday at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas brought the third weekend of the new 2023 MotoGP World Championship format, morning Qualifying followed by the Sprint race in the afternoon. The 10-lap battle was again a thrilling affair over the 5.5 kilometers of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Q1 saw Mir again on the brink of passing through, the #36 setting the second fastest lap of the session with just moments left on the clock. A final flying lap from Zarco knocked Mir out of the crucial top-two spots with Mir ultimately securing 13th on the grid for the Sprint and feature race.
From the head of the fifth row, Mir made a strong start and immediately began to battle with the likes of Oliveira and Morbidelli. After running wide early in the race, the Repsol Honda Team rider focused on his recovery and steadily picked his way back up the field to cross the line in 12th place. While Mir was aiming for more, the Sprint race did yield important information to continue his adaption to the Honda RC213V.
On the other side of the garage, Stefan Bradl continued to make improvements and qualified in 21st. The German then headed into his first ever MotoGP Sprint race aiming to gather as much data as possible and avoid any unnecessary risks. This attitude saw Bradl achieve his target of finishing as the top Test Rider in the race as he crossed the line in 18th position.
Alex Rins scored his debut podium finish on the Honda RC213V as the LCR Honda rider put in an impressive performance to take second place – equaling his qualifying result. This is Honda’s second Sprint podium of the season.
Sunday will see the full 20-lap Americas Grand Prix, scheduled to start at 14:00 Local Time, take place. Both Repsol Honda Team riders are eager to return to the track and put their learnings into action and take advantage of today’s result.
Joan Mir (12th)
“The Sprint today shows us that there is still work to do, especially with being able to really ride how I want on the bike. But we are learning and improving all the time, this is the important point and what we are focusing on. It was really important to finish the Sprint today after two difficult and unlucky ones at the start. As a result, we have a better idea of what to expect tomorrow so we can prepare better. It was a really demanding race in this heat and with the conditions out on track.”
Stefan Bradl (18th)
“We arrived here with realistic expectations, and we were able to achieve what we set out to do. The Sprint is very intense, it’s what I expected and especially here it’s really demanding in this weather and with this physical track. I lost a bit of ground in the first high-speed braking, but I am not in a situation or a position to take a lot of risks. We were able to learn some good things about the bike for tomorrow and the objective is to again have another consistent race.”