Doohan cautious on Miller MotoGP promotion
Australian motorcycling great Mick Doohan has stressed that the prospect of Jack Miller being pitchforked into MotoGP next season must be with a frontline operation.
The rising star from Moto3, where he currently holds a 21-point lead in standings, is likely to have a production-spec Honda available from HRC in the premier class.
While Honda legend Doohan, who carried the Repsol squad to five consecutive world titles from 1994-1998, is unaware of Miller’s future prospects he fully endorses such a lofty elevation.
“If he’s with a good team I think it’s a good move,” Doohan told Speedcafe.com
“If it’s with a second tier team then maybe it would be better to do a year or so on a top tier Moto2 bike.
“If he doesn’t excel on a tier two bike in MotoGP his opportunities might not be too forthcoming.”
Whatever the outcome, Miller stands as the best prospect of continuing a long list of Australian riders at the frontline of motorcycle world championship racing.
Doohan said that while Australia has been well represented on the two-wheel stage, it cannot always be the trend.
“With every nation we can’t always expect to have somebody up the front,” he said.
“Clearly at the moment Miller is the standout of the Australians competing on the world circuit.
“You’ve just got to look at America, and the UK for example, they (UK) haven’t had somebody since Barry Sheene (1976, 1977 world champion) as a real contender for a world championship.
“It is the top of the tree as far as motorcycle sport goes so it’s not an easy job to get there.”
Any move to the top bracket would coincide with Marquez lifting the standard to another level.
Sunday’s US Grand Prix saw Marquez become the first man since Doohan to win 10 consecutive MotoGP races.
Doohan believes the Spaniard is simply extracting more out of the same bike than team-mate Dani Pedrosa, as well as his other chief rivals.
“The reality is he’s just riding better than anybody else. He’s just pushing it beyond what the other guys are pushing,” explained Doohan.
“He’s got a lot more confidence and he’s getting away with it.
“It all adds up to an immense amount of talent.
“He is doing stuff with that bike that the others aren’t.
“Some people say for example Giacomo Agostini (eight times world champion) didn’t have any competition, well that’s not necessarily the case.
“They are dominating. There’s a reason why they are dominating.
“They are not making mistakes and they are consistently quicker lap in lap out and Marquez has taken it to another level.
“But it doesn’t always mean it will continue.”