Aussie MotoGP star seals Ducati promotion
Australia will have a major hope back in MotoGP, with Jack Miller earning a promotion to Ducati's main team from next season.
The 25-year-old Queenslander has signed a one-year deal to ride for the Italian manufacturer in 2021, with a contract extension option for the following year.
One of the most colourful characters on the circuit, Miller finished eighth last year with five podiums as part of the non-works Pramac Ducati team.https://twitter.com/DucatiMotor/status/1265709009031626752
Ducati chief executive Claudio Domenicali is adamant the Aussie can challenge for the MotoGP title, under the stranglehold of Spain's Marc Marquez for the past four seasons.
"Since he arrived in the Pramac Racing Team, Jack has grown steadily, proving himself one of the fastest and most talented riders in the championship," Domenicali said in a statement.
"We are convinced that Jack has all the right skills to fight continuously for the positions that matter, in every race.
"Starting already this season with the Desmosedici GP20 of the Pramac Racing Team, and taking a further step forward next year thanks to the support of the Ducati Team."https://twitter.com/jackmilleraus/status/1265836166697218051https://twitter.com/ducaticorse/status/1265568623466295297
Miller reflected on his journey to becoming a factory rider after making his premier class debut at age 20 in 2015.
"I'm excited about what's to come with Ducati," he wrote on Instagram.
"But I have to acknowledge what Pramac Racing has done for me and everything they have done to make me the competitor I am today."
His signing continues Ducati's long lineage of Australian riders, following in the footsteps of Troy Bayliss and two-time world champion Casey Stoner.
Ducati's first and only MotoGP title came with Stoner in the hot seat in 2007, before he departed for Honda to claim his second crown in 2011.
Buoyed by Andrea Dovizioso (overall runner-up) and Danilo Petrucci (sixth), the Italian manufacturer finished third behind Yamaha and Honda in last season's constructor championship.https://twitter.com/pramacracing/status/1265575588573700097
The identity of Miller's teammate for 2021 is in doubt, with Dovizioso and Petrucci uncontracted beyond this year.
The start of the 2020 MotoGP season has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.