News 13 Jun 2024

Miller future up in the air following refreshed KTM direction

Tech3 reverting to KTM with Vinales and Bastianini as 2025 team riders.

Image: Supplied.

Australia’s Jack Miller will have to find a new seat in MotoGP if he is to remain on the premier class grid for 2025 after KTM opted to sign Maverick Vinales and Enea Bastianini to its new-look Red Bull KTM extension operated by Tech3.

The Austrian organisation had already confirmed Pedro Acosta would be replacing Miller in the official effort alongside Brad Binder, with the shock addition of Vinales alongside Bastianini denying Miller of a straight swap with Acosta.

Today’s announcement also makes KTM’s move to revert Tech3 from GasGas back to its primary brand official, closely tying the programs together to make a powerhouse four-rider roster on full factory RC16 machinery. It’s unclear if GasGas will continue in Moto3 or potentially have a presence in Moto2, where Pierer Mobility also fields Husqvarna entries without being in MotoGP.

“We’re very happy we could bring both Enea and Maverick into our MotoGP project and give them full factory backing and support to keep following their goals and to reach their maximum performance,” explained KTM Motorsport director Pit Beirer. “It’s clear we are talking about two of the fastest riders in the world right now and it is a compliment that they trust us and the first-class operation we’ve created together with Red Bull KTM Tech3.

“The team’s label for 2025 says it all – it is time to strengthen the KTM name again and we couldn’t think of a better way to bring this kind of value to the company than for Enea and Maverick to go full Red Bull orange. Let’s push on for the rest of 2024 now and then look forward to this new start for next year.”

Vinales chose to leave Aprilia Racing following the manufacturer’s high-profile signing of Jorge Martin, who lost out to eight-time world champion Marc Marquez in landing the second Ducati Lenovo Team seat for 2025. That seat currently belongs to Bastianini, who in turn comes as no surprise at KTM and Tech3 after recently being confirmed for the switch by his management.

KTM’s decision puts 29-year-old Miller’s future up in the air following just two years in orange (2023-2024). He entered MotoGP directly from Moto3 in a three-year stint aboard satellite Honda machinery between 2015-2017, before joining Pramac Racing Ducati from 2018-2020, and then securing a factory Ducati Team seat for 2021 and 2022.

Miller’s best chance to remain in MotoGP now appears to be with Honda, which has been enduring an unprecedented slump in recent seasons and will have both 2020 world champion Joan Mir (Repsol Honda) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) off contract at the end of the season. Mir is currently top Honda rider in the standings, ranked two places behind Miller in 18th.

There is also the odd chance that Miller – a four-time MotoGP race winner – does in fact depart the grand prix paddock altogether, frequently linked to a Ducati reunion in the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) in recent weeks should defending champion Alvaro Bautista elect to retire at the end of the season.

Should Miller exit MotoGP, it will likely leave Australia without a premier class entry, however current Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP Moto2 rider Senna Agius, as well as Moto3 contingent Joel Kelso – already signed with LevelUp MTA Racing Team for 2025 – and Jacob Roulstone could be in line to graduate in the coming years.