Redding’s 2018 GP ride uncertain
Aussie set to swap fickle Honda for powerful Ducati in 2018
Jack Miller will switch from Honda machinery for the first time in his Motogp career in 2018 as he makes the move to Pramac Ducati, joining Danilo Petrucci at the factory-supported satellite team, according to MCN’S sources in the Motogp paddock.
The news has been rumoured for weeks, with the Australian reportedly given a deadline of straight after the German Grand Prix (July 2) to accept the deal from the Italian team – a decision that he made despite strong offers on the table from at least two factory teams for next season. Official confirmation isn’t expected until after Miller’s debut at the Suzuka 8-Hour later this month on a full-factory Honda.
Miller has been a Honda rider on an official Honda factory contract since making the jump directly from the Moto3 class at the end of 2014. Having first ridden the underpowered customer RCV1000R he graduated to the RC213V within the Marc VDS team.
In 2017 he’s finally started to repay Honda for their loyalty, finding the consistency that he’s been lacking up until now and putting himself in contention for top satellite rider status.
But, still struggling with the difficult-to-ride RC213V despite the improvements made by the Japanese manufacturer over the last year – and struggling to use his aggressive riding style on a bike that forces him to be more conservative, the 22-year-old has apparently been tempted away by a strong offer from Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to be Ducati GP17mounted in 2018.
It wasn’t an easy decision for Miller to make, however, with manager Aki Ajo believed to have turned down competing bids from both Aprilia and Suzuki – teams with riders contracted for next season but both scouring the market as team bosses Davide Brivio and Romano Albesiano show their discontent with Andrea Iannone and Sam Lowes respectively.
With Ducati’s GP17 machine showing a definite step forwards, it could well be the difference in machinery that Miller needs to up his game. Like all the Honda riders, he’s forced to at times tiptoe around the issues with front tyre temperature and struggles with a lack of top speed and acceleration.
But, with the most powerful bike on the grid under him next year, he could become a top-six regular. With the bike looking very capable in the hands of Danilo Petrucci this year, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Miller was a podium contender in dry conditions.
‘With the most powerful bike on the grid under him next year, he could become a topsix regular’