Pramac Racing Team Manager Francesco Guidotti believes that Jack Miller is “close” to completing a deal which would see him move up to the factory Ducati Team.
The Australian had already been identified as the first rider to be chosen for Ducati’s works outfit in Italian media earlier this week, although the agreement was reportedly unlikely to yet be official.
The Bologna factory already holds the contracts for Miller and his current team-mate at Pramac in Francesco Bagnaia, and Guidotti expects to lose the former at the end of the 2020 season.
“The most logical and normal situation is that Jack will go to the factory team,” Guidotti told MotoGP’s official website.
“He started with us with the goal of riding for the factory team. After a difficult first year, I think last year he showed a very good potential, he made a big step.
“We were waiting for this year to see one more improvement but, at the moment, there’s no chance for him to show that. I think and Ducati as well think he has the potential.
“Regarding Jack, (Ducati is) doing the negotiations and, as far as I know, it’s not done yet.
“But, of course, from both parties there is the intention to do the deal. I think it’s close.”
Miller, for his part, has firmly put his hand up for the promotion to the Ducati Team, telling MotoGP’s official website, “I feel like I’m the best, let’s say, decision, but we will see.
“I was really looking forward to getting underway, having some good results at the start of the season to try and get a factory seat but we will see, first of all, what will happen with the 2020 season and see where we have to go from there.”
Guidotti also noted the financial sacrifice which Miller had made to stay on a Desmosedici motorcycle when KTM came calling, while his own contracts talks were dragging on.
Ironically, the one-time MotoGP race winner had been approached last year to replace a rider who is now also vying for a factory Ducati seat in Johann Zarco.
The Frenchman sought an early release from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing after struggling on the RC16 and, after serving as an injury replacement at Idemitsu LCR Honda in the latter races of 2019, ended up with Ducati outfit Reale Avintia Racing.
“Last year Jack could have gone when KTM offered him a bunch of money, but he stayed with us with, let’s say, not for little money but much less,” said Guidotti.
“It means he’s very happy with the technical aspect, he likes the bike and the feeling is good.”
Dorna Sports is planning to start the premier class season with races at Jerez on July 19 and July 26 under a proposal currently with the Spanish government.