Australian MotoGP rider Jack Miller returning back home to Townsville just before the borders closed for the COVID-19 restrictions. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Australian MotoGP rider Jack Miller returning back home to Townsville just before the borders closed for the COVID-19 restrictions. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Huge signing for Townsville’s MotoGP star

THE MotoGP career of Townsville's own Jack Miller is set to hit full throttle after his signing with the factory squad of Ducati.

Miller, 25, announced the prestigious signing on his Facebook and is the biggest development in his MotoGP career.

The former Cathedral School student is the third Australian to join the top tier of Ducati's MotoGP outfit, with Casey Stoner and Troy Bayliss former riders for the Italian manufacture.

The signing is set to be life-changing for Miller, who will now have the top-tier machinery to be a genuine contender.

It will also make him arguably the biggest Townsville athlete on the international stage.

"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," Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said.

"We are convinced that Jack has all the right skills to fight continuously for the positions that matter, in every race."

Miller, who has been living in Townsville during the COVID-19 pandemic, made his first MotoGP ride with Ducati's feeder team Pramac in 2018.

He was the first rider to make the leap from Moto3 into MotoGP, having bypassed the traditional pathway through Moto2 altogether.

 

 

Jack Miller heads down a straight during the MotoGP Tests at Losail Circuit on February 24 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
Jack Miller heads down a straight during the MotoGP Tests at Losail Circuit on February 24 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

Miller had a strong 2019 season and secured six podium finishes, including a podium at Phillip Island, to push his case for a move into the factory Ducati team.

"It is an honour for me to be able to continue my MotoGP career with the Borgo Panigale manufacturer," Miller said in an official statement.

"I look forward to starting riding again this year, and I am ready to fully commit to the responsibility of being an official Ducati rider in 2021."

The first 11 rounds of this year's championship due to have got under way in Qatar on March 15 have been either cancelled or postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

Jack Miller drinks from his shoe as he celebrates third place on Day Three of the 2019 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Phillip Island in Victoria, Australia, Sunday, October 27, 2019. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour)
Jack Miller drinks from his shoe as he celebrates third place on Day Three of the 2019 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Phillip Island in Victoria, Australia, Sunday, October 27, 2019. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour)

But the break has provided a positive for Miller, who has been based in Europe for the past 10 years.

"A lot of guys are locked up over in Europe so we get a little bit of an advantage … I'd go stir crazy not being able to ride for so long," Miller told the Townsville Bulletin recently

"It's the longest I've been without racing since I was maybe seven years old so it's definitely strange.

"It's a strange thing to deal with because I've always been working towards a race and at the moment we don't have anything. You're in limbo.

"(But) I'm able to keep on the bike, keep training and take most of the advantage out of this."

 

 

Originally published as Huge signing for Townsville's MotoGP star


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