Jack Miller finishes our MotoGP Rider of the Year poll in seventh overall and as the top Ducati rider (sorry Andrea…)


If the 2019 MotoGP season was the year a young - yet experienced - Jack Miller matured from unproven talent to a rough diamond, his 2020 MotoGP campaign certainly polished his reputation further in a year that - like most riders - could have looked very different but for a few chance moments.

Coming into 2020 with a weight of expectation heightened by Ducati’s decision to promote him to the factory team from 2021 in place of Danilo Petrucci, Miller certainly justified his choosing over his Italian counterpart even if you could say he isn’t quite the completed article yet. That said, he isn’t far now...

With more DNFs (four) than any other rider inside the top ten, the fact Miller ended the year seventh but just seven points from third goes a long way to describing his year. Moreover, only one of those - at Jerez - was strictly his fault, with the others being a technical issue in France, a wipe out by Brad Binder in Valencia and bizarrely an issue brought about by an errant visor tear off being sucked into his Pramac Ducati.

Despite the odd erroneous tyre selection sending him backwards at times, his race craft took a sizeable step forward in 2020 compared with previous seasons as demonstrated by his four podiums, while two of those - in Styria and Valencia - were just tenths off the win.

In short, it was a good warm-up for Miller ahead of a crucial 2021 MotoGP campaign when he not only steps up into the pressure-cooker environment of the factory Ducati fold, but does so as team leader following Andrea Dovizioso’s exit.

Indeed, while one could say Miller is ready for the factory, Ducati may admit it perhaps hadn’t envisaged him as a team leader when it agreed terms with him months ago.

However, Miller could be exactly what Ducati needs and vice versa, so regardless of whether the Aussie is ready to lead the team, few would be quite as pumped to give it everything.