Jack Miller was one of five MotoGP riders given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday.

And having met the Prime Minister of Thailand earlier this year, Miller joked he's starting to feel a bit like an Australian diplomat!

The Pramac rider was joined by team-mate Danilo Petrucci plus world champion Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Iannone, team representatives, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and Paolo Simoncelli for the visit ahead of this weekend's San Marino MotoGP at Misano.

"It was a once in a lifetime opportunity," Miller said. "Coming to the Vatican for the first time and to meet the Pope, it's definitely something to tell your kids about. Also the tour was absolutely amazing, to go through and see everything in the Catacombs. An unreal opportunity.

"It was nice to exchange some words [with the Pope] and give him the helmets, he said a little joke to us, that he was going to wear them! He was a great guy. It was really nice to have the opportunity to meet him and hopefully it can bring us some good luck this weekend, preferably for the weather!

"We got to meet the prime minister of Thailand at the start of the year and now the Pope, so I'm feeling a bit like an Australian diplomat! I'll have to go down to Canberra and have a chat with them when I get home…"

Petrucci said: "I've been to Rome many times but for sure I've never had the chance to meet the pope himself. It was a really, really big emotion and I discovered a great person, who said some very, very kind words. It was incredible.

"He said very special things to us about the passion to be a champion in life before being a champion in sport. It was a day I think I'll never forget. To meet the pope doesn't happen every day… I hope it will help for the race on Sunday!"

More to follow...

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