MotoGP 2024
Round 1

30th season of competition begins for the Repsol Honda Team

qa Lusail International Circuit

A landmark season of the MotoGP World Championship awaits Joan Mir and Luca Marini, the young pairing ready to pilot their striking 2024 Repsol Honda Team RC213V machines across 21 rounds – starting under the floodlights of Qatar.

30th season of competition begins for the Repsol Honda Team

With an intense pre-season of testing behind them, the new-look Repsol Honda Team arrive at the start of the 75th anniversary year of the MotoGP World Championship prepared to work. Honda’s relationship with Grand Prix racing started in 1959 in the 125cc class, achieving a debut victory in the hands of Tom Phillis two years later before the iconic Jim Redman would take a first premier class win at the West German GP in 1966. Since those heady days, Honda have achieved 821 victories across all classes – 183 of those wins belonging to the Repsol Honda Team.

Honda’s factory effort will be guided by the hands of Joan Mir and Luca Marini for the 2024 season. Together they boast two World Championships, 18 wins and 50 podiums across the classes. The pair have been working closely with HRC’s engineers since the close of 2023 to prepare in the best way possible for the start of the newest campaign. A heavily revised Honda RC213V has been prepared with a number of further developments planned throughout the course of the year.

Joan Mir enters his second year with the Repsol Honda Team and has been reinvigorated by a positive start to testing in 2024. Able to consistently improve both his one lap and his overall race pace across each day in Sepang and Qatar, Mir is confident he can return to fighting towards the front. Continuing along this path of improvements will be the objective for Mir and his team, led by Santi Hernandez, as the new season begins. Mir achieved 14th in last year’s Qatar GP.

Luca Marini is the newest recruit to the Repsol Honda Team’s historic line up of riders, the 26-year-old Italian joining the factory team after three years of impressive progression in the premier class. Like his teammate, the objective for the weekened will be to make further improvements to himself and the Honda RC213V as he adapts to life on his new motorcycle. Signing off the end to a strong 2023 campaign, Marini secured pole for the 2023 edition of the Qatar race and holds the current lap record around the Lusail International Circuit.

The season will begin with Free Practice 1 at 15:45 Local Time on Friday, March 08 with the lights going out on the MotoGP Sprint Race at 19:00 Local Time on Saturday, March 09. Then the main event, the 22-lap Grand Prix of Qatar, is scheduled to begin at 20:00 Local Time on Sunday, March 10, as the curtain officially lifts on another thrilling season of MotoGP action.

Location: Lusail International Circuit

The fabulous Lusail International Circuit lies on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Built in little over a year, the track cost $58 million USD and required round-the-clock dedication from almost 1,000 workers in order to get it ready for the inaugural event – the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar on the 2nd October 2004.

The track itself is a flowing layout of 5.4 kilometres, surrounded by artificial grass designed to prevent sand from the neighbouring desert from blowing onto the circuit. The main straight is over a kilometre in length and there is a good mix of medium and high-speed corners, including a couple of quick left-handers which has proved particularly popular with the riders.

In 2008 Qatar celebrated the first night time Grand Prix in history, following the construction of permanent outdoor lighting. The switch to night time racing was a success and has continued to be so, with the Qatar event now established as one of the most spectacular on the MotoGP calendar.

Joan Mir
Joan Mir 36
Repsol Honda Team
Another season is finally here! Always you’re excited to start the year and to get back racing because there is nothing like racing a MotoGP machine. We have had some good time between the test and this weekend to keep training and put everything in place to start the year. I am happy with how everything has been progressing and I am confident we can keep making improvements over the course of the Qatar GP. It will be a weekend of building and capitalising on the important moments, our aim is to start stronger than we did last season to begin the year in a positive way.

Luca Marini
Luca Marini 10
Repsol Honda Team
The time has come to go racing again, and now I get to do it as part of the Repsol Honda Team. It is another thrilling milestone in the journey I have been on since the end of last year. Every time we work together as a team we are able to find something and make more steps forward. This first weekend will give us the opportunity to finalise some details from the test and also understand better how to work during a race weekend together. We have work to do, and I am eager to start it as a factory Honda rider.

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