MotoGP Race Director Mike Webb believes Jack Miller is set to become a great premier-class rider.
But the 19-year-old Australian will need 'patience and maturity' during a steep learning curve as he switches from Moto3 straight to MotoGP, skipping out the Moto2 class.
Miller enjoyed a breakthrough year in the junior category, taking his first victory - and podium - on his Red Bull KTM debut and leading for much of the season before narrowly losing out on the title to Honda's Alex Marquez.
Webb called Miller to Race Direction several times, both as the victim and instigator of on track incidents.
“Jack is a real character. He's got a big personality. I get on fine with him, but obviously he hates me from time to time when I tell him not to do stuff!” Webb told Crash.net
“Jack is strong minded, so if we are disciplining him for something, he's very vocal about not accepting he is wrong. But within a fairly short period of time he has calmed down, understood it and gets on with the racing.
“The good thing is that he is mature enough not to let it get to him. He just goes 'ok, that's over. I've had my tantrum and now I'm back into the racing'.”
Miller has signed a multi-year MotoGP deal with Honda, which will begin with a season on an Open class bike at the LCR team. Miller aside, Webb was asked what any young rider would need to do to satisfy him that they were ready for MotoGP.
“It goes without saying that a successful grand prix rider in any class is a very, very high level rider. So I'll leave the riding aspect. From my side it's about maturity and respect,” Webb explained. “Moto2 and Moto3 bikes are easier to ride, have a lot less power, a lot of people can ride them really fast and there are lots of alternative lines in each corner, meaning you can get away with a lot.
“With MotoGP the consequences of doing something wrong are very high and the possibilities in every turn are very much more limited. There is not a great deal of margin for error and the rider needs to understand the consequences of overdoing it.”
Webb added that he sees similarities between Miller and 2014 MotoGP rookie Scott Redding:
“A good example is Scott Redding. He was a really, really good Moto2 rider. Obviously far ahead of the bike, meaning his ability was much greater than the limit of the bike. It was very easy for him to go fast, get away with lots of things and stay in control.
“In MotoGP he is obviously an excellent rider and his progress has been really good this year. But you can also see the level of effort and concentration that he has to put in. There is less room for the flamboyance, the wild overtaking manoeuvres and everything like that in MotoGP. You have to be very much more in control.
“The same is going to happen to Jack. He is clearly a standout rider in Moto3 and is way ahead of the capabilities of that bike, but he is going to have to go through a learning curve in MotoGP. Providing he has the patience and maturity to handle that he is going to be a great MotoGP rider.”
Miller has taken part in two MotoGP tests, with a further three official outings available prior to his race debut at Qatar on March 29.
to read the full exclusive interview with Mike Webb…