Pramac Ducati have announced they have signed Jack Miller for the 2018 MotoGP season. The Australian will ride a Desmosedici alongside Danilo Petrucci next year. Miller's contract is directly with Ducati, however, rather than Pramac.
The move had been rumored for some time, and had been expected to be announced last week at Brno. But last week, Miller was still waiting for details of the package his current Marc VDS team could offer. Marc VDS, in turn, were waiting for confirmation from HRC of exactly what equipment they would be supplying, and more importantly, which personnel would be available.
Reportedly, Miller was keen to keep his current team together, but as his crew chief and much of the crew were employed by HRC rather than Marc VDS, he was dependent on what Honda wanted to do. When no information was forthcoming from HRC, Miller accepted the offer from Ducati, which had been on the table for several weeks. Miller will ride a Desmosedici GP17 at Pramac.
Miller's move to Pramac raises several questions elsewhere. First of all, his departure from Marc VDS leaves an open seat at the team. Secondly, his arrival at Pramac leaves Scott Redding looking for a seat. It is tempting to put two and two together, and see Redding return to the team with which he had so much success in Moto2, but that is by no means a foregone conclusion. Marc VDS is said to have a long list of potential candidates to fill the seat, though obviously Redding remains a possibility.
Other names in contention include Stefan Bradl, but it is believed the German would not be a popular choice for the team. Marc VDS is also looking at other riders in Moto2, but the most obvious candidates to make the move up to MotoGP are already signed up, either in Moto2 or MotoGP.
The press release from Pramac Ducati appears below:
Octo Pramac Racing announces agreement with Jack Miller for 2018 MotoGP season
The Australian rider, directly under contract with Ducati, will defend the colours of the Team on board a Ducati Desmosedici GP
The Octo Pramac Racing team wishes to announce that it has reached an agreement for 2018 with Jack Miller. The Australian rider, who will be directly under contract with Ducati, will defend the colours of the Tuscany-based team in the MotoGP World Championship on board a Ducati Desmosedici GP bike as team-mate to Danilo Petrucci.
Born in Townsville, Queensland, on 18th January 1995, Miller made his debut in the 125 cc World Championship in 2011 and then moved immediately into Moto3, where he finished runner-up in the 2014 season. The Australian rider then joined MotoGP the following year and, in 2016, scored his first win in the Dutch GP at Assen.