Jack Miller is relaxed about signing a one-year contract to race for the Ducati Team next year despite two being the norm for factory riders.
The Australian’s new deal is for 2021 with an option for the Bologna marque to renew him for 2022, an agreement which leaves him in contrast with others that are signed beyond the upcoming season.
Yamaha has signed Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo to its factory team for both 2021 and 2022, Suzuki has done likewise with Alex Rins and Joan Mir, and Honda has locked up Marc Marquez for four more years.
For Miller, however, it is his fourth straight single-year deal since coming across from Honda to Ducati satellite team Pramac Racing.
“They wanted a one-year contract and I wasn’t too stressed,” the 2016 Dutch TT winner told Speedcafe.com.
“So, it’s just the same as it has been; the last three years have been all one-year contracts so it’s just another one of those, I guess.”
The rider who he has effectively replaced, Danilo Petrucci, has also had a recent history of one-year contracts with Ducati, both to ride at Pramac and, for 2019 and 2020, the factory team.
Petrucci was therefore out of cycle last time he renewed, as Miller would be when it comes to signing another deal in 2021, something which the 25-year-old thinks could work to his advantage.
“I think they’re just trying to keep their doors open, trying to keep their options there,” he responded when asked if his situation increased the pressure on him.
“But, everyone else has signed up for two-year contracts. I don’t really understand it, but it can only really work in my favour if I do a good job. Then, I can negotiate a stronger contract so we’ll have to wait and see.
“I mean, if you look back to guys like Mick (Doohan) and stuff like that, they only ever did one-year contracts; try take a leaf out of their books, I guess.”
What is unusual for Miller, however, is being one of the first signed during the contract cycle and he thinks that, too, is in his favour.
“I think it’s been good,” he remarked.
“If you look in the past, I’ve probably tended to slip off when contract negotiations start up and then once everything gets sorted out, I go back to going alright.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to just continue on a nice, strong stroke all the way through.”
As well as declaring his confidence about fighting for the championship in 2021, the outgoing Pramac rider, who already enjoys current-spec Ducati equipment, believes race wins are realistic in the season just ahead.
“The goals have always been the same, I think,” said Miller, who finished third on five occasions in 2019.
“We got on the podium a few times last year and I think we were getting closer and closer at the end of last year.
“With the bike and package we have under ourselves, I feel ready to go and fight for victories this year, so I’d definitely like to try and fight for a couple of victories throughout the season.”