MotoGP Germany: Miller ‘super thankful, amazing opportunity’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Jack Miller arrived at the Sachsenring with his MotoGP future secure for two more seasons but as of 2023, no longer in Ducati colours.

A return to KTM awaits the Australian - having begun his Grand Prix career in Aki Ajo’s Moto3 outfit - after five years in red and with two manufacturers already under his belt in the premier class. The deal also sees Miller re-establish his relationship with a previous boss, now Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Team Manager, Francesco Guidotti.

“First and foremost, very happy to have that one done and to be here for another two years!” Miller confirmed from Germany before joking, “You guys have to put up with me for a little bit longer. But no, really, really happy! Excited for what is to come.

“An amazing opportunity for me too to have a bit of change of scenery and try something different,” he continued on the role awaiting him. “I’ve been at Ducati now for quite some time, five years, and had an amazing experience. We’ve done a lot of good races together, a lot of highs, and a lot of lows, but super thankful for everything that they’ve taught me throughout the time.

“To have the opportunity to not only ride at Pramac and go through that whole program there, but then also to step up into the factory team and be able to have two years here. It’s been an amazing experience and something I wouldn’t change at all.

“Going forward, looking forward to another decent project, with a lot of hungry people so it looks good.

“I mean, you don’t have to be a mind reader to work out that I have a good relationship over there as well with Aki being my manager and Francesco and everything like that, but I have a great relationship with a lot of brands. I feel like you can ask anybody that I’ve worked with in the past, I feel like not too many people have too many bad things to say about me and I like that. That’s why even throughout today, a lot of questions being asked and stuff like that, I have no beef whatsoever with anybody, I try to leave on good terms.

“Going back there, for sure the decision was influenced by knowing a lot about the structure over there and how those guys work and also with Francesco being there, for sure it’s another step in that direction. So it was just weighing up my options and also being at my age, where I am now, 27, I’ve done a lot and I feel like I’m still got a lot more to give. There was a lot of things that went into it, it wasn’t just like a ‘wing it’ kind of decision. There was a lot of things that weighed into it and this look like the best track for me.

“It’s kind of weird because you announce all this stuff and then you are still there for the end of the year, so I mean you sort of like light the wick and then you wait,” he said of continuing the season with Ducati after announcing his departure.

“It’ll be good. Before the announcement came out and everything like that I went round to all the management, staff and even to Pecco [Bagnaia] and just had my little words with them and told them basically about what was going to happen and where we were at. I mean it’s already been a little bit emotional. Also wearing this Ducati red is something that I wanted for so long and to get it, and then to go away from it, is emotional but as I said we’ve got some exciting times ahead of us and 12 races to go still, I still get to be a factory Ducati rider for another 12 races.”

Returning to the job at hand, Miller was reflective of a difficult two races at Mugello and Barcelona.

“Your guess is as good as mine to what happened the last few weekends,” he admitted. “It’s not for a lack of trying. Ever since that podium in Le Mans, we’ve been struggling a little bit. We had a good test on Monday in Barcelona, that couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Stemming all from the winter, and the work we did throughout the winter, I think we’ve been on the back foot a little bit and the tracks where we’ve had a lot of or decent grip I’ve been alright, but then the grips been down, like with the temperature and everything in Mugello, and even Barcelona where the grip was extremely low, I seem to suffer a lot especially in the front end.

“On the Monday it’s different sort of situation because there’s a lot of Michelin rubber on the ground and the tracks really, really fast, but I feel like we were able to find a little bit of headway. We sort of played around quite a lot with the geometry of the bike and position and I feel it was a really successful Monday test. Normally I hate those things, but I was really happy to have that one.”

With progress in mind, does his recent announcement impact any support or development with his Desmosedici going forward?

“I don’t think so, no,” Miller said simply. “I have to say one of the biggest things with Ducati and with the way that they run things over there is they are straight up with you when it comes to that sort of thing.

“Even when you see the support that they give to satellite teams. I mean, Gigi knows if you’re pushing, he’ll give you the stuff that you need, because at the end of the day, they want to win or they want to get the best results. So I have it from him that that it won’t stop and they’ll keep looking after me until the end of the year.”