Report: Miller set for KTM MotoGP switch
Monday 16th May, 2022 - 4:51am
Jack Miller is set to move from Ducati to KTM at the end of the 2022 MotoGP season, according to a report in Italian media.
The Queenslander’s place at the factory Ducati Lenovo Team has arguably been in jeopardy since midway through last year due to the emergence of Jorge Martin.
Since then, the threat has doubled with the rise of another satellite Ducati rider in Enea Bastianini, who sits third in the championship after picking up a third win of the season at the just-completed French Grand Prix on a 2021 model Desmosedici.
Nevertheless, it looked as though Miller might stay in the Bologna marque’s ranks by moving back to Pramac Racing, where Martin is currently domiciled and where #43 spent three seasons before his promotion to the factory squad.
Now, Sky Sport Italia reports that Miller is set for a defection to KTM in 2023.
However, whether he ends up at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing or Tech3 KTM Factory Racing, the latter of which is the satellite team despite its name and orange RC16 bikes, remains to be seen.
According to Sky Sport Italia, that will depend on whether or not Miguel Oliveira inks a new contract with the Mattighofen factory, noting that the Portuguese rider’s current team-mate Brad Binder is only into the first season of a three-year deal.
If Oliveira does stay on, then Miller would be placed at Tech3, making for an all-Australian rider line-up at the Herve Poncharal-led team assuming Remy Gardner renews with KTM.
Adding weight to the speculation is the fact that Red Bull KTM’s new team manager is Francesco Guidotti, who held the same position at Pramac when Miller was there.
While ‘Jackass’ could yet end up at Tech3, the KTM entries essentially operate as a single, four-bike outfit anyway, and a similar situation applies so far as Ducati Lenovo and Pramac is concerned.
That extends to the manufacturers controlling the rider contracts for their aforementioned satellite teams, and Miller said last month that he “wouldn’t care” if his current employer sent him back to Pramac.
As for a vacancy at Tech3, Raul Fernandez is reportedly likely to leave the team.
Ironically, while Bastianini has just won the French Grand Prix, Miller finished second at Le Mans in a race from which both Bagnaia and Martin crashed out.
In the championship, Bastianini is third, Miller fifth, Pramac’s other rider Johann Zarco sixth, Bagnaia seventh, and Martin all the way back in 15th after a spate of crashes this year.