News 4 Jun 2024

Latest MotoGP shuffle could work in Miller’s favour

Rider market heats up for 2024 following Martin revelation.

Image: Supplied.

Today’s high-profile shuffle amongst the very front of the MotoGP grid ignited by Jorge Martin’s decision to join Aprilia Racing from 2025 could work in favour for out-of-form Australian Jack Miller, who currently finds himself in search of a new contract beyond this season. With Martin and seemingly Marc Marquez’s futures on lock, Miller is in line to extend onboard RC16 machinery.

It was formally announced at Mugello that rookie sensation Pedro Acosta will be elevated to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – almost certainly in Miller’s seat alongside Brad Binder – from 2025, transferring from Red Bull GasGas Tech3 in what was a highly-anticipated switch.

It was also revealed overnight that current world championship leader Martin (Pramac Racing) will make a shock transfer from Ducati after failing to land a factory seat at the Borgo Panigale factory, instead signing a deal with Aprilia, which indicates that Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing) will in fact arrive at the factory Ducati Lenevo Team with world number one Pecco Bagnaia next year.

Miller’s future is still up in the air, and while he’s a likely candidate to remain in the KTM group with a move to GasGas, it’s also understood that Honda has expressed interest in the four-time MotoGP race winner, which would otherwise prove to be a lucrative reunion with the manufacturer that he debuted with in MotoGP and scored his maiden victory. It’s more likely, however, that with both Martin and Marquez out of the picture, KTM management will firm to re-sign Miller in what is shaping up to be an enhanced four-rider, full factory program in cooperation with Tech3.

The 29-year-old has endured a challenging start to his second season aboard the works KTM RC16, having scored points in just two grand prix races along with a trio of DNFs across the first seven rounds, placing him 16th in the championship standings. Still, Miller is eager to remain with the Austrian organisation, albeit in GasGas red, insisting he benefits from his contribution to developing the RC16 over the last 18 months.

“I didn’t sign up to this job to see it out after two years and not reap the benefits,” Miller explained over the weekend. “These projects take time, and I think that’s what we’re doing at the moment. That’s why you have these highs and lows – you’re building something good.

“We’ve made massive headway in this project and I think we continue to build this bike to be the one that’ll stop the red machine. I love the guys at KTM, I think they’ve done a fantastic job in such a short amount of time. Obviously, I think we’ve got four fantastic riders, and if they need to reshuffle, then they reshuffle and keep going.”

The number 43, who finished P16 at the weekend’s grand prix, was fourth fastest during Tuesday’s official test at Mugello, completing 32 laps in a rain-affected day. It’s unclear who would potentially join him at GasGas if he does secure an extension, with Augusto Fernandez currently positioned alongside Acosta, while Enea Bastianini is also on the rider market and set to depart Ducati.