15 October 2015
MotoGP Australia: Marc VDS confirms Jack Miller
"We are happy to welcome Jack to the Marc VDS family, even if he is 12 months late arriving!"
Marc VDS will double its MotoGP presence with Jack Miller finally confirmed alongside Tito Rabat for the team's second season in the premier-class.
Miller will move across from LCR Honda, with Moto2 champion Rabat already named on the seat vacated by Scott Redding.
“I am very enthusiastic on this possibility with Honda and the Marc VDS Racing Team," Miller said. "I know Marc VDS is a good, strong and experienced team, and they can build a good structure for me to fight for good positions next year.
"As we both have already one year of experience from the top class, I feel that we can gain from the experiences we have to achieve good results together with Honda.”
Australian Miller jumped directly from Moto3 to MotoGP this year and has scored 16 points so far, including a best finish of eleventh in Catalunya.
Miller is third in the Open class standings but the highest ranked RC213V-RS rider, albeit level on points with former champion Nicky Hayden.
The loss of LCR's title sponsor means Lucio Cecchinello is reverting to a single entry for Cal Crutchlow next season.
Miller has a multi-year contract directly with HRC and was thus always assured of a place somewhere on the 2016 grid. A move to Aspar was initially rumoured, but the Spanish team is now set to switch to Ducati machinery, prompting the Marc VDS deal.
Miller was previously involved in a contract dispute with Marc VDS, which claimed a 'binding contract' was in place for the Australian to join its Moto2 team for 2015.
“It's all water under the bridge," Miller told Crash.net. "They've been really good about it and I believe I've been pretty good about it. They've welcomed me with open arms and I'm really excited.”
Instead of Moto2, Miller moved straight from the factory KTM Ajo Moto3 team - where he finished title runner-up to Alex Marquez - to MotoGP.
“It's good to be able to finally welcome Jack to the Marc VDS Racing Team. We wanted Jack in 2013 because we could see he had the talent to succeed and that hasn't changed," said team principal Michael Bartholemy.
"This was always going to be a difficult transition season for him, having jumped straight onto the MotoGP bike from Moto3, but he's done a solid job so far.
"Next year Jack will benefit from having the Marc VDS Racing Team behind him and, together with a competitive bike, I'm confident that this is exactly what he needs to realise his full potential.”
Miller will continue to work with ex-Casey Stoner crew chief Cristian Gabbarini next season. Asked about his bike spec for 2016, Miller said:
“I'm not sure yet to be honest. Honda are still developing their bike and we need to wait until the factory boys test it to know what our package will be.”
Miller and his engineers will make their Marc VDS debut at the post-season Valencia test. Rabat rode Redding's bike, on Michelin tyres, at the post-Aragon test.
“We are happy to welcome Jack to the Marc VDS family, even if he is 12 months late arriving!" quipped team president Marc van der Straten. "He comes to the team with a year of experience in MotoGP and I expect to see him well inside the top ten on a regular basis next season.
"For the team it is good to have two riders in the premier MotoGP class; they can learn from each other but, equally importantly, they can push each other every weekend. Both Jack and Tito are ultra-competitive and I expect we'll see some exciting battles between the two of them next season!”
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