As expected, it has been officially confirmed that Jack Miller will leave Honda and join Pramac Ducati for the 2018 MotoGP season.

Miller has signed directly with Ducati, as team-mate to Danilo Petrucci. Although bike specification is yet to be confirmed, it is thought that Petrucci will again have the latest Desmsosedici machinery and Miller probably a year-old bike.

HRC decided not to renew Miller's contract and, while he could have remained at Marc VDS by signing directly for the team, there was little chance of moving back up the Honda hierarchy after such a 'downgrade'. The Australian also looked set to drop to a year-old bike at Honda next year and it was unclear if he would be able to retain his current crew.

Instead, Miller will now become the first Australian to join a Ducati team since Casey Stoner.

The #43 will take the place of Scott Redding, whose future plans remain unknown, with Aprilia appearing to be his best chance of remaining in MotoGP.

By signing a one-year deal, Miller - like Petrucci - will be available to challenge for a factory MotoGP ride when all of the official seats come up for renewal at the end of next year.

Miller has been a HRC-contracted rider since being fast-tracked to the premier-class from Moto3, following a title challenge with KTM in 2014. After a debut season on an Open class bike at LCR, Miller was placed at Marc VDS for the past two years.

The Townsville native made history with a shock win in the wet at Assen 2016, the first victory for a satellite rider since 2006. Miller's best 'dry' result was sixth at this year's Dutch event and he is currently welfth in the standings, putting him on course for his best MotoGP campaign.

But with former LCR team-mate and double 2016 race winner Cal Crutchlow already carrying out much of the Honda testing duties - alongside factory riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa - then receiving a HRC contract for 2018 and 2019, the writing was on the wall for Miller.

The Pramac deal was strongly rumoured to have been informerly agreed before the summer break, at Sachsenring, but some doubts began to emerge after Miller's Suzuka 8 Hours appearance for Honda. However a final decision has now been made.

While a swap with Miller and return to Marc VDS looks possible on paper for Redding, the Englishman struggled badly during his previous season on the RC213V and his standout option looks to be a return to Gresini - now the factory Aprilia team - should they decide against retaining Sam Lowes.

Meanwhile, Marc VDS will need to be creative in finding an experienced replacement for Miller alongside rookie Franco Morbidelli.... Unless Rabat decides to stay, rather than switch to Avintia Ducati. It is believed that Marc VDS will use Valencia 2017-spec machines next season.

Barring a possible change at Aprilia, the completion of the Pramac line-up leaves only Avintia (two seats), Aspar (one seat), Marc VDS (one seat) and a second LCR seat as to-be-confirmed for 2018.



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