25 September 2014
MotoGP Aragon: MotoGP stars discuss Jack Miller deal
“The step is very big and Jack is very brave to try. But I spoke to him and he wants to do like this” - Valentino Rossi.
Jack Miller found himself the centre of attention in Thursday's Aragon pre-event MotoGP press conference.
The Australian has sparked an intense debate by jumping straight from Moto3 to MotoGP with LCR Honda next year, thus bypassing the Moto2 category.
Miller will be 20-years-old when he makes his race debut next March and one month older than rookie champion Marc Marquez had been in 2013. Marquez's instant success is seen by many as prompting the factories to search for young stars, but the Spaniard also spent two years in Moto2.
“It will be interesting to see [Miller] at Valencia for his first test, because the step is really big,” Marquez said. “When I was in 125 I didn't feel ready to go to MotoGP directly and I stayed two years in Moto2 because for me it was necessary. But he will go straight away, so we will see if it works or maybe if he struggles. For sure it will be difficult in the beginning, but he has enough talent.”
Marquez's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa also feels it is a step into the unknown, but that Miller has the talent to make it work.
“Definitely the engine power is way more, but watching him you can see that he is able to manage many kinds of different bikes,” Pedrosa said. “Sure, he will need some time to adapt to the new tyres, weight and power. But he will get time before the first race and maybe he is going to do a good year. It will be interesting for us also [to see how he does].”
Miller believes the length of his Honda contract - believed to be three years - means he can make up for missing Moto2 by extra learning time in MotoGP. Valentino Rossi warned that may sound fine in theory, but could easily be forgotten when the racing starts.
“Taking the right time will be the biggest challenge for Jack, because it is very easy now to say 'ah, I have time. I will arrive in MotoGP quiet'. But after, when you are on the track, you always want to arrive in front and give the maximum,” said the seven time MotoGP champion.
“The step [from Moto3 to MotoGP] is very big. I think that Jack is very brave to try. But I spoke to him and he wants to do like this and that is the most important. The bike will change a lot, the speed, brakes and tyres. So he has to be clever, quiet and try to understand step-by-step. Then try for good results in the second half of the season I think.”
Fellow Italian Andrea Iannone added: “I am a bit surprised about this. I think it is a big step. Moto3 I never tried but I remember 125 was very different to MotoGP. But I don't know… Jack is a strong rider and I think with time he will go very fast.”
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