Official: Jack Miller signs two-year deal with KTM

KTM has confirmed three-time MotoGP race winner Jack Miller will join its factory team next season after signing the Australian to a two-year deal.
Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Jack Miller, who had been linked with a move to KTM since the French MotoGP at Le Mans, will replace Miguel Oliveira. 

With it becoming clear that Ducati were looking to replace Miller inside its factory team, links to KTM grew stronger in recent weeks before the Austrian marque finally confirmed the expected news on Thursday morning.  

Having spent the last five seasons with Ducati, that includes the current 2022 campaign, Miller will now move to his third different manufacturer since making his MotoGP debut in 2015 with Honda.

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Miller’s switch to KTM will also see him reunite with former Pramac Ducati boss Francesco Guidotti, who became the Red Bull Factory Racing Team Manager at the beginning of the year.

"Having Jack alongside Brad [Binder] in our team means we have another strong asset," said Guidotti. "I know him well, I know how he likes to work and what he can bring to the box. 

"I believe his character and the way he will ride and push our KTM RC16 will help us a lot at this stage of our project. 

"Like Brad, Jack is a pure racer: he will find the limits and the maximum of any condition and any package and still ‘go for it’ to get the result and that is quite a rare quality. The next two seasons will be exciting!"

While it’s not been a bad start to the 2022 season for Miller, the experienced Australian has been unable to find consistency, as the last two rounds have demonstrated. 

Jack Miller, Catalunya MotoGP, 4 June
Jack Miller, Catalunya MotoGP, 4 June

Miller scored a combined three points at Mugello and Barcelona, while one of his potential replacements Jorge Martin was instead fighting at the sharp end in Barcelona - went on to claim second place following Aleix Espargaro’s last-lap blunder. 

Miller has also been outshone by Gresini’s Enea Bastianini who remains the only rider with more than two victories so far this season -  the 2020 Moto2 world champion is considered the favourite to replace Miller inside the factory Lenovo Ducati team. 

With Miller having formerly been part of the KTM program in Moto3, Director of KTM Motorsport, Pit Beirer, believes the addition of Miller is a significant one for the team. 

Beirer added: "Of course we’ve known Jack since he made a boom with Aki and our Moto3 program and it’s a big pleasure to bring a rider of his capabilities into our MotoGP structure. 

"He left us with a positive impression, and we’ve stayed in contact. Jack’s approach and attitude to racing are very similar to ours. 

"I am very proud that he comes back to Red Bull KTM again and he will be a great addition to our mission."

Future in MotoGP 'still open’ - Oliveira has eyes for Ducati 

While the picture has become clear for Miller thanks to his confirmed switch to KTM, the outgoing Oliveira is not so lucky. 

The Portuguese rider, who had been tipped for a move to LCR Honda - remains in contention to join the Japanese manufacturer, could also be looking at a move to Gresini Ducati. 

Miguel Oliveira, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 June
Miguel Oliveira, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 June

With Bastianini a certainty to be promoted, whether that’s to the factory or the Pramac team, a seat at Gresini is likely to be open. 

After being offered a chance to stay with KTM [Tech 3] which Oliveira has since refused, talks with Gresini took place in Catalunya.

Speaking to SKY Sport MotoGP, Oliveira said: "My goal is to ride a competitive bike. That’s the case of Ducati at the moment. It looks like there’s one seat available in the Gresini Team. 

"We had a small meeting, we wanted to know each other, we sat down and talked. Nothing serious yet, so my future is still open. My goal is to ride a bike that’s capable of winning races."

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