Jack Miller has opened up on his move to the Pramac team and the chance to ride the same spec of Ducati which is currently winning races in the hands of Andrea Dovizioso.
After months of speculation, Pramac confirmed in the lead-up to the Austrian Grand Prix that Miller would be joining the team from 2018 as a replacement for Scott Redding.
He will be contracted directly to Ducati as he has been with Honda, a contract which was effectively switched to Cal Crutchlow.
According to Pramac, the deal was only finalised the week prior at the Czech Grand Prix, while Miller has added that negotiations began in Jerez in early May.
The Townsville native has ridden Hondas since skipping from Moto3 to MotoGP in 2015, first with the LCR team and for this season and the last with Marc VDS.
Miller says that the change to Ducati is a welcome one given the impressive performance of the Italian manufacturer’s satellite teams.
Furthermore, while new team-mate Danilo Petrucci will be given a latest-spec GP18, Miller reflected positively on riding the GP17 which Dovizioso has already taken to three race wins this year.
“The move to Pramac just feels right, the right move at the right time; something different that has come along at a good time in my career when I’m ready for that,” said Miller in his Red Bull column.
“We saw today (Austrian Grand Prix) with Dovi (Dovizioso) that Ducati has a winning bike this year, and their satellite program clearly works pretty well too; that’s the bike I’ll be on next year.
“So I’m excited to get over there, and I have a good feeling about the staff there and how I’ll fit in.
“I had the option to continue with Marc VDS and there would have been nothing wrong with that at all, but at this point in my career, I think it was time for a change, and the offer and the opportunity felt right.”
Miller enjoyed his first and so far only MotoGP win with Marc VDS at Assen last year, and said that he will leave the satellite Honda outfit “on good terms.”
The 22-year-old also reflected positively on his Austrian Grand Prix weekend, despite crashing out after another uncompetitive qualifying session.
While Miller made a strong start to this season with four top 10 finishes in the first five races, the other being the Spanish Grand Prix when he was taken out by Alvaro Bautista while running 11th, results have been hard to come by of late.
In Austria, neither Marc VDS bike showed any pace in practice or qualifying as Miller qualified 19th and team-mate Tito Rabat 24th and last.
The Australian circulated as high as 12th position during the race before crashing out at Turn 9 while in 14th position.
However, Miller pointed to his race pace as a positive outcome from the weekend and a promising sign given future races which are set to be more favourable to the Hondas.
“It seems a strange thing to say when you crash and don’t make the end, but there were a few positives from Sunday,” he explained.
“We were the top satellite Honda when I went down which was pretty good all things considered, and my race pace was decent considering where we started way back in 19th.
“The tyre on the right-hand edge just started chewing out, and that was what caught me out in the end.
“Austria is just about the toughest track of the year for our team and our bike with the long straights and the slow corners before them; it’s a complete horsepower track, basically.
“It’ll be good for us to get back to some more ‘normal’ tracks like Silverstone next, Misano and some of the others before the end of the season where our bike doesn’t work too bad.”
Round 12 of the MotoGP world championship is the British Grand Prix on August 25-27.