Townsville local Jack Miller is sitting on top of the world right now with confirmation he’s the first rider signed for the official Ducati Team in the 2021 MotoGP™ World Championship. The 25-year-old Aussie this week reached an agreement which gives him the option of extending his gig with the official factory team through 2022. Currently Jack’s riding for the Pramac Racing Team after joining the satellite Ducati operation for the 2018 season.
“I always had dreams of becoming a fully-fledged factory rider.
“Fair to say I didn’t think it would happen with me sitting at home in Townsville having not raced for six months, but 2020 has been a strange old year.
“But it’s done, and having my 2021 plans sorted out so early is so exciting with what I’ll be doing, and in many ways a dream come true for me.
“When I got to MotoGP in 2015, this is what I was always chasing, so to have it actually happening is a bit surreal. But it’s the reality, and it feels bloody good.”JACK MILLER, May 2020.
Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti reckons Jack has the potential to be one of the best riders in MotoGP.
“Last year he was five times on the podium, five times third,” Ciabatti told MotoGP.com.
“I think he has to obviously move from there to higher positions to show a better stability and continuing the performance, especially in the second part of the races because he’s definitely very fast, sometimes he was missing a little bit of consistency in the second part of the races.
“Once you are in the factory team obviously you only have one target which is to fight for the podium and win races, because that is what to expect from a factory rider in the Ducati team.
“He’s definitely one of the four fastest and most aggressive riders in MotoGP and we think he can still improve on some areas and become really one of the top riders of this class.”
Jack Miller now becomes the third Australian after Troy Bayliss and MotoGP™ legend Casey Stoner to ride in the famous red of Ducati, the company from Borgo Panigale.
As Jack pondered his good fortune from the comfort of his tropical North Queensland home it was patently obvious a shake-up in the driver market was inevitable. And the objective ever more apparent – how to best the extraordinary talent of six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, the winner of the last four titles for Honda.
“A changing of the guard is underway in MotoGP as the likes of Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, and Dani Pedrosa make way for the next generation of riders. Yamaha have Maverick (Vinales) who is my age, Suzuki have Alex (Rins) and Joan (Mir). And I was hoping Ducati would see me as their young guy who has been around for a while but is still pretty young to get into that conversation.
“So the main goal for all of the other factories is to get somewhere close to him. For me, the big switch-up was Yamaha bringing in Fabio (Quartararo) for next year to replace Rossi. It was an inevitable decision but one that had to be done, but for them to actually do it was a different thing because, I mean, it’s Rossi!
“I’m stoked that Ducati sees me as their guy in that age range to try to fight amongst ourselves and hopefully with Marc in years to come. To sign with a factory and be a fully-fledged factory rider is something you put in your mind as long-term goal when this all started.
“To be there; it’s so exciting and a little bit unreal in some ways, but shows you that all the hard work and sacrifices everyone who has helped me to get there was worth it. The signing is what I’ve been working towards my entire life!”
The Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix was set to take place at the legendary Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit from the 23rd to the 25th of October.
The British Grand Prix was set to take place from the 28th to the 30th of August at the classic Silverstone Circuit.
2020 will now mark the first year MotoGP™ sees no track action in the British Isles for the first time in the Championship’s more than 70-year history.
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