Miller: Rookies keep getting faster and faster, it makes me nervous

Following the impressive rookie seasons by Ducati riders Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini, Jack Miller says ‘it makes me nervous’ seeing how fast rookies are adapting to MotoGP.
Jorge Martin, Jack Miller, Valencia MotoGP, 13 November 2021
Jorge Martin, Jack Miller, Valencia MotoGP, 13 November 2021
© Gold and Goose

Following Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini’ impressive emergence as rookies in 2021, fellow Ducati MotoGP rider Jack Miller has been made nervous at how fast younger riders are adapting to the premier class. 

Martin and Bastianini contested for 2021 rookie of the year honours until the very last race of the season in Valencia, a race that saw Martin take the award after finishing second behind Francesco Bagnaia. 

The former Moto2 riders were eventually separated by nine points as Bastianini, who started the race ahead of Martin in the standings recovered from an 18th place start to claim P8. 

While Martin started the season best of all three rookies - the other being Luca Marini, Bastianini was the highest points scorer of the three from Aragon onwards as he claimed two third places in both Misano races. 

However, Bastianini struggled in terms of qualifying performance compared to Martin, who claimed four poles to go along with a maiden premier class win in Austria and a further three podiums.

Martin and Bastianini showed huge promise ahead of their second years in MotoGP and were the two best rookies we’ve seen since 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo in 2019.

All this has led to factory Ducati rider Jack Miller discussing how quickly young riders are able to adapt to MotoGP, something that ‘makes me nervous’.

On the final race day of the year, Miller said: "Today he [Martin] was strong. I had to follow him for a long time - 27 laps to be exact, but this bike ain’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. 

"It’s got its character and everything like that. All the rookies have been strong, it makes me nervous really, because they keep getting faster and faster. 

"I mean look at him (Francesco Bagnaia), he came in and topped the test in Malaysia; so he’s saying ‘ah I took time and this, that and the other’, it’s bullshit because he didn't [laughs Miller]. 

"But they just keep getting faster and faster. Jorge has done a fantastic job and missed a few races this year. But he’s come in with the professionalism that maybe I was missing when I came in for sure. 

"He’s really stepped up to the plate and he’s done a fantastic job with his race craft, let's say."

The exact strong points of riders such as Martin are what took Miller ‘a long time to learn’, while he now understands the feeling of what it was like to get the better of former factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci as a rider on a year old machine.  

"It’s a lot of things that took me a long time to learn, but I think he’s a very complete rider. Him and Bastianini; getting passed by a year old bike is not fun," continued Miller. 

"I know how Dovi and Petrucci must’ve felt when I did it to them and it ain’t a good feeling that’s for certain. 

"I wish these rookies would slow down a little bit. But it also makes me more and more keen to try and improve myself and become a better rider."

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