Jack Miller ‘hopping off the best bike’, regretting KTM switch already?

While the RC16 has ‘immense potential’, Jack Miller has confirmed that leaving Ducati has meant leaving behind the best MotoGP bike on the grid.
Jack Miller, Red Bull KTM MotoGP Portimao 2023
Jack Miller, Red Bull KTM MotoGP Portimao 2023

As was demonstrated during tests in Valencia, Sepang and Portimao, Ducati have appeared to be more dominant than at any other time in their MotoGP history. 

After winning the world title with Miller’s former teammate Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati are expected to repeat that success whether that’s in the hands of Bagnaia, Enea Bastianini or even Jorge Martin which would make him the first-ever satellite rider to win the MotoGP title should he do so.

One manufacturer that doesn’t appear ready for such success is KTM, as Miller struggled to match the fastest times in testing, as did all other KTM riders. 

So although more performance is certainly needed to become a regular race winner, Miller says he and the team have maximised their preparation given the limited track time with his new machine.

"We’re as ready as we can be," added Miller. "It’s always different when you change manufacturers, things you need to learn and understand before you can make the bike your own. 

"One day at the end of last year does nothing because you forget over the winter! We made decent strides in Sepang. We’ve all got that itch to get back."

While KTM might not be ready to fight for a MotoGP title in 2023, Miller can only see strides forward being made after claiming the RC16 has ‘immense potential’.

But there’s no getting away from the fact Miller has left the best bike on the grid, which could turn out to be a mistake even though he’s not focusing on what could have been had he stayed with Ducati. 

"Using a steel chassis is a different concept. It’s done great things for them [KTM] in the lower classes. It can work," added the Australian. "The bike has huge potential. Changing suspension manufacturer, after so many years? Learning sprint rates and valving is busy. I embraced the challenge. 

Jack Miller , Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March
Jack Miller , Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March

"Trying to understand the philosophy of the bike, tailor it to my needs, make the necessary adjustments… We have strong points with the KTM. The engine is a strong point, the rideability, the smoothness of the kerb. We’ve made steps in the right direction. 

"The new package has immense potential, but it’s about unlocking that potential. Hopping off the best bike on the grid and hopping into this project is an awesome challenge. It will flourish. 

"The bike itself has given me a great understanding. I only crashed once in the test which was my own fault - I put a new tyre on, and had a moment! You get feedback from the bike which is nice. 

"I’ve been sat at the other end, where you’ve in the gravel with no idea of how you got there. There are no massive negatives. It’s just finding the last couple of tenths, particularly when the bike still feels foreign. It’s about understanding, when the bike speaks to you, what it’s saying."

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