A complicated first day of track action at the Spanish GP saw both Repsol Honda Team riders tumble, Joan Mir eventually finishing the day in 18th as Iker Lecuona closed the gap to the top riders.
The 2023 Spanish GP is building to be a memorable Grand Prix weekend with blazing temperatures and fans already flocking to the hills surrounding the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. Excited to run in front of their home crowd, the Repsol Honda Team began to build their weekend from the first moments of Free Practice 1. Temperatures would steadily rise throughout the day, making for treacherous track conditions, but Mir and Lecuona persisted in their quest for improvements.
It proved to be a complicated day for double-World Champion Joan Mir, suffering two falls in the afternoon. Unharmed in both falls, Mir and his side of the Repsol Honda Team garage have already begun work on preparing for Saturday’s crucial Qualifying sessions and the Sprint Race afterwards. The hot temperatures beating down on the 4.4 kilometers of the Jerez circuit made for difficult conditions, but look set to remain for the weekend. With less than a second dividing the top 17 riders, even an improvement of just a tenth could be enough to see Mir in the mix for Q2.
Iker Lecuona made his MotoGP return, and his Honda MotoGP debut, in front of the enthusiastic Spanish GP crowd. Friday was all about adjustments and getting comfortable on the Honda RC213V, times and results were of no major focus for the 23-year-old from Valencia. From a 1’40.509 in FP1, Lecuona was able to end the day with a best time of 1’39.274 – an improvement of over one second. On the combined times, the #27 was 1.4 second behind HRC Test Rider Stefan Bradl, the German intimately familiar with the Jerez circuit after a number of tests here. A solid debut day.