8 August 2014
MotoGP Indianapolis: Jack Miller tipped for the top
“Jack's going to be at the front of MotoGP in years to come” - Cal Crutchlow.
If Honda hasn't already signed Jack Miller then the opinions of Nicky Hayden, Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi should spur them into snapping up the Moto3 title leader.
As expectation increases that Miller will skip Moto2 and jump directly to MotoGP next season, some of the present premier-class grid gave their views on the Australian teenager.
Miller took his first ever grand prix win on his Red Bull KTM debut at Qatar and starts the second half of the season with a 19-point championship advantage.
However it is Miller's riding style that has caught the attention of Hayden and Crutchlow - and prompted comparisons with Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez.
“Like everyone, I like Miller a lot,” began 2006 world champion Hayden.
“I had a chance to ride dirt track with him last year at Rossi's ranch. It was really fun and I think his talent will only come out more on a bigger bike, where he has more power and can get away with more. Same way with maybe Marc [Marquez] and Casey [Stoner] a little bit.
“He's a little wild, but on the track he normally doesn't make many mistakes. So he's got a really bright future if he stays healthy and can keep everything together.”
Speculation suggests Miller has been offered a long term contract with Honda and could be riding an Open class machine alongside Crutchlow at LCR in 2015.
“Jack is a special talent on and off the bike,” said Crutchlow. “Hopefully soon he can start to come up and show as his true talent on a bigger bike, as Nicky said, because sure he's going to be there. People are already comparing him to Casey, but I think he's going to be a fast guy and at the front of MotoGP in years to come.”
Among Miller's Moto3 title rivals are Alex Marquez, brother of MotoGP champion Marc, and Romano Fenati, who rides for Valentino Rossi's team.
“I like Jack,” said Rossi. “He's one of our rivals for my team in Moto3. I think he can win them the championship and I like a lot his attitude, also off the track. He can have a very good career in the future.”
Miller's attitude and enthusiasm were also highlighted by Jorge Lorenzo and Aleix Espargaro.
“I like Jack very much,” said double world champion Lorenzo. “Off the track he seems a bit crazy, but on the bike he is really focused and that is a good mentality for a rider.”
“Jack is nice because he's natural,” added Espargaro. “He's a young guy, fun, always smiling and always trying to enjoy himself on the bike. For me he doesn't see this as a job and he's just trying to enjoy himself on the bike and make friends in the paddock. I like his style.”
The Marc VDS Moto2 team claims it has a binding contract with Miller for 2015 and 2016, something denied by Miller and his manager Aki Ajo. A settlement is expected to resolve the issue.
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