Official At Last: Jack Miller To MotoGP With LCR Honda For 2015 And Beyond

This year's MotoGP's silly season has seen many badly-kept secrets, and one of the very worst of them is now out in the open. Today, the LCR Honda squad confirmed what everybody has known since July, and suspected since the beginning of June: Jack Miller is to make the leap directly from Moto3 to MotoGP, to ride the Open class Honda in the LCR team alongside Cal Crutchlow.

Miller may be riding in the LCR Honda team, but hsi contract is directly with HRC. Lucio Cecchinello has long insisted that he has had no direct involvement with the deal, Honda working hard to secure the services of Miller for the future. Miller's contract is for three years, according to GPOne.com, and the young Australian will spend the next two seasons with LCR. That would put him in the frame for the second seat in the Repsol Honda team, with both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa out of contract at the end of 2016.

The bike Miller will be riding is the Open class machine produced by HRC. Next year's bike will be radically different from the bike of this year, and will consist basically of this year's engine minus the seamless gearbox. It will be much closer to the power of the factory bikes, though it will only have the spec software, rather than Honda's custom electronics. The uprated version of the bike is to be given a new name: no longer will it be known as the RCV1000R, it has been rebranded an RC213V-RS,.

Miller is to be partnered with Cristian Gabarrini in the LCR Honda team. The crew chief who formerly worked with Casey Stoner has a history of working with young riders, and as an HRC employee, can nurture the 19-year-old Australian's talent. There had been rumors that Valentino Rossi's former crew chief Jeremy Burgess was to work with Jack Miller, but those rumors appear to have been a fabrication leaked to discredit a particular section of the Italian media.

The LCR press release announcing the deal appears below:


JACK MILLER TO JOIN CWM LCR HONDA TEAM FOR THE 2015 MOTOGP CAMPAIGN

The CWM LCR Honda Team is pleased to officially announce that Australian rider, Jack Miller, will compete with them in the 2015 MotoGP World Championship riding the Honda RC213V-RS Open Specification bike.

The 19-year-old racer from Townsville, who is currently leading the Moto3 World Championship, will compete in the MotoGP Open Class thanks to the support of Honda Racing Corporation, LCR’s historical sponsors and new team partner CWM, alongside the more experienced British talent Cal Crutchlow riding the Honda RC213V Factory Specification bike.

This is the first time since their debut in the MotoGP class in 2006, that Lucio Cecchinello’s squad will field two riders, and this is largely thanks to new sponsor CWMFX.com.

Jack Miller: “I’m very happy to make the leap up to MotoGP next year, especially because I will do so alongside HRC. It's a dream come true; I think that every rider would like to race at the highest level in the World Championship with a Honda. It is certainly a big jump from Moto3 to MotoGP, but I am convinced that we are ready and that, step-by-step, learning every day, we can do a great job. It's a fantastic opportunity and I'm very excited about starting this new stage of my career with HRC, whom I wish to thank together with CWM LCR Honda Team. I'm looking forward to working with them! In the meantime, I remain fully focused on this season's Moto3 World Championship. I will have to avoid any distraction in order to fight for the title.”

Lucio Cecchinello (CWM LCR Team Principal): “Without any doubt, this is a very exciting project and a completely new challenge for us. We do believe that Jack will be a future strong performer in the premier class due to his undeniable talent, motivation and drive. Together with Honda we will do our best to let him familiarise himself, step by step, with the MotoGP class. For sure Jack will need time to learn how to ride a 1000cc machine but there is no rush, and next year will just be a learning season for him in the new Class. Honda has a long term plan with him and we believe that with no pressure Jack will be able to show his talent in MotoGP.”

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Comments

I am not trying to knock the guy but what is it, beyond useful nationality that warrants his move? I don't even see him as the strongest in moto3 this year let alone all moto2. In a way i kind of hope this is not successful (sorry Jack!) but only because id hate to see it become the norm or hear ir constantly talked of eith every coming 'bright young thing'.

The comments of Lucio Cecchinello repeatedly making it ckear this is not his deal but HRC's is fascinating politically. Even if true, i wonder why he feels the need to comment? Perhaps he's still sore about losing Bradl. HRC's very pointed comments previously about Cecchinnello being allowed to pick whomever he wants but that HRC won't give support to Bradl proves the statement's duplicity and the ongoing dangers of yhe power of the factories.

As a final thought, the open Hondas will be fascinating to see the comparative performance of the software if, as is stated, the bike is essentially this years factory machine minus the seamlesd gearbox. I suspect the electronics are what limits Aleix Espargaro this year. I cannot help but wonder if he were on Pol's Tech3 woukd he be more of a threat to the front four?

"...I don't even see him as the strongest in moto3 this year.."

Apart from leading the Moto3 World Championship all season?

When did Australian become a 'useful nationality'?

Other than a race which pulls in a decent but not enormous crowd in an unfashionable timezone there's never been any favouritism shown to Australian riders. They have to do it far harder than european riders, especially at the start of their careers. Just fortunate that there's a love of bikes and racing them in the junior, dirt based levels here.

Is everybody suddenly trying to find the new Marquez? First Redding, now this guy. Neither of them are anywhere near Marquez's level and will never be. And even Marquez spent an extra year in Moto2.

Jack is obviously a talent but in a few years everybody will be talking about Vinales, Rins and A. Marquez. Not about Miller.

Firefly- totally agree with you on Rins, Vinales etc and surely, if you're good enough you're Spanish...oops, I mean clearly Dorna are now beginning to 'snatch' a sprinkling of different nationalities and try to help place them because even they see that with a lively, high level domestic infrastructure, allied with a (relatively), healthy sponsor pool, Spain could easily supply all the MotoGP grid if they allowed- cream should always rise to the top, but maybe they're trying to avoid the CEV moving through en masse to MotoGP?
Just saying....

However, the experts (the folks that evaluate riders) have proven me wrong several times...

With Crutchlow, with smith, I thought Marquez would be good but didn't envision that he could (or anyone could) be this good.

I will try to keep an open mind on miller too. Clearly the people that have watched him ride this season think he's all that

I sure hope JM will come of age on the LCR, no matter if some on the other side of the pond are expressing their doubts in JM not being as talented as some other riders out there. Kind of makes me hope that he will beat CC in his first year.....

This is how Honda works. They are trying to lock up any potential Marquez beater with a contract. This is a business and this is a good move. They see something in him and don't want him going to Ducati or Yamaha. Who does Yamaha have locked up that is young to take on Marquez? Crutchlow and Pol? Perhaps they will be trying to get Rabat?

By the time he's 21 he'll be ripe for a full factory spec 213v and will have two years experience under his belt on the big bikes.

This will either set a new trend if he succeeds or cause caution if it fails. I think it's a good move even though I'm not a fan of HRC nor the outspending they do in the sport.

Honda are miffed.

Miffed that Yamaha and Ducati ignored their interpretation of 'fair play' when it comes to the open class bike design for 2104.

Honda's response; they have the 'now' covered so build for the future by spread betting on riders who could be good enough for the Repsol Factory team post Pedrosa (2017) and provide an open class bike for 2015 / 2016 which is the previous years factory design sans factory software and seamless gearbox.

The bike is self explanatory so lets look at the riders Honda are betting on;

Crutchow, at the top of the curve, not much to learn, can do a job hassling Yahama factory bikes for the next two years making life harder for them before retiring out of GP's. Actually an important job for HRC as Yamaha technically close the gap on the RCV and Ducati also improve.

Redding, has the talent / potential to make the factory squad in 2017 if he continues in the same way he has so far.

Millar, two years on a open bike, 1 year on a satellite and also the potential to go to the Factory team - keeps Redding honest and working hard.

And finally........

Alex Marquez, now entrenched with Marc VDS, who will be Honda through and through for years to come; budget will become available for MVDS to run a 2nd open bike by 2015, ties in nicely for Alex to do some good learning in Moto 2.

Then Alex jumps on to the RCV satellite RCV after Redding to be groomed as next gen if Miller doesn't cut the mustard. The potential fairy tale dream team two siblings fighting it out week after week for glory at the top. Thats an ad mans dream signed and sealed - just needs to be delivered.

Very intelligent by HRC, they have short term (2015/16), medium term and potentially long term all covered and have created genuine internal competition for places.

And as a foot note, Repsol insist on one Spanish rider in the team, not two. The fact there is two is a convenient quirk of fate, nothing is in the way of Redding or Miller becoming full factory Repsol riders.

Except politics, injury, results, sponsorship and a myriad of other things that pop up now and then............... nationality should no the a problem though!

I'd not thought about this in quite these terms but it makes perfect sense to me. Honda are not daft by any stretch of the imagination and this would be a sensible way forward for them.

Good work anteater.

Not at the move by Miller, but by the senitiment by of the above posters that go so far as to hoping he fails. I think that is absymal personally. I don't agree with the move either, I would have definitely preferred to see him in Moto2 first, but to say, "I kinda hope this is not sucessful" is a bit much.

While I was a big fan of Bradl...he definitely does not deserve that seat if it is as close to a factory RCV as has been reported. Chechinello can be as pissed off as he wants, but any rider has to deserve a ride like that and this is Bradl's 3rd year on the bike is not?

There are many many people in the paddock who believe that Miller is at the same level at the 2 Alex's and will in time be even better. To write him off now, and worse, to wish him bad fortunes, is absurd.

I went through the already 100 comments on crash.net and thought that the motorcycling world had suddenly been filled with abrasive tossers.

Glad to see the general readership here have better sense and aren't such hatemongers. People forget that Miller was top honda last year, and he is by far the top KTM now. Do we really want to see 6 spaniards battling it out on the 6 or so factory bikes? Although i'm supportive of my home country, i couldn't stand seeing them dominate the sport. We should always judge a rider on his/her individual attitude, ability and charisma, it's hard to see the whole stereotype thing not coming into it, cheering for your country as they take it to the world is friggin awesome. For me, it's all good sport. If Miller doesn't make it, I'd be cheering for the UK to get their next Sheene, the US to get their next schwantz or for Rossi to beat Ago's record. Wishing for people to achieve, especially against all odds, is much more exciting than hoping that these fearless racers who want to do themselves and their country proud, fall flat on their faces...

Miller is talented and has earned a Honda customer bike ride - MotoGP paddock

Miller is a farce and not worthy of a Honda customer bike - random comments on the internet

Hmm... who to believe? LOL

I'd like to have seen Miller ride Moto2, but am happy to see him in MotoGP sooner rather than later. The other Moto2 and Moto3 guys at his level also deserve a shot and I'll enjoy seeing that happen when their time comes.

But I am 99% sure that Crutch's bike will be Brembo and Ohlin's all the way. As to Jack's ride, Good question! He may not get the same stuff. With Gresini out of the fold I hope HRC doesn't force the Aspar guys to use Showa/Nissin. Could happen though.

If Miller went the Moto2 way and did well and won or finished top 3 some people would expect big results in the first year in MotoGP, where as now he has a year to get used to the bike, second year start making top 10 finishes so by the 3rd year he should be fighting for top 5, sounds logical to me. What is the power difference between Moto3 and Moto2, the power to weight is similar and who in their right mind would say to HRC, " no it's all good, I'll go Moto2"

Frankly it's about time the well-known passport prejudices in MotoGP stacked up in an Australian's favour. MotoGP no doubt taken a solid hit to TV viewing numbers since Casey's departure, hence the urgency. Australia is a small country by population, but per capita the interest in motorsport is pretty high, especially when a competitive Aussie is in the mix.

Looks like Dorna and HRC have been careful enough to make sure he doesn't get a truly competitive bike, though, so he doesn't bother the Repsol Spaniards at the front of the pack too much. You really do need the seamless or you're kind of nowhere. Removing it from an otherwise mechnanically factory-spec bike is simply a nobbling measure and of no benefit to the racing spectacle. I hate it when they do that.

Hope Jack does really well regardless of all that - he's got the same bareknuckle spirit as Marquez and a good fun personality as well.

I believe the seamless box is monstrously expensive though, so would make the customer bikes even more costly. As for 'kind of nowhere' without it, I seem to remember an article stating it was worth maybe .5 sec per lap?

Putting Jack on a full factory bike in year 1 would just be a waste of a factory bike, as he needs to learn the tyres, brakes etc, as well as different lines and techniques before he can challenge at the front ... although Marquez managed it I suppose!

Marc went through Moto2. So he did some foundational work there before he jumped to MotoGP. I still think there is great benefit to coming through Moto2. It will be fun watching Jack work, though! I think he is up for it. He'll scrap hard and run about mid-pack, not in the rear, and excluding serious injury will learn a ton and will be a real force in 2016. Just a prediction!

I don't really think anyone saw Marquez coming the way he did. I knew he was going to be competitive straight away, but I did not see him taking it all in year 1 and becoming the dominant force that he is today. That is just freak of nature stuff!

It is a bold move going from Moto 3 straight to MotoGP, I hope Miller can be lucky when he has the inevitable crashes as he wasn't always in his first year of Moto3.

In the context of David's outstanding article on how hard it is at the bottom of Moto3 and 2, I remember back to Miller and Sissis arriving as promising Australian Moto3 riders at the same time. The very different outcomes for the two riders underlines the truth of that article.

I'm going to state something really obvious here... People who say that the jump from 250cc to 1000cc is too big... Please keep in mind that there's nothing stopping Jack Miller from hopping on to a race-spec BMW S1000RR or a Fireblade SP and doing private sessions on the track. I would think that he already has a decent bit of experience of riding 1000cc superbikes and i'd imagine he'll do a lot more of superbike riding throughout the winter break (summer in Australia).

I also understand that production bikes don't hold a candle to a prototype GP bike's performance (tyres, engines, brakes, electronics, everything), but they will surely go a long way in getting used to 200+ Horsepower. Combine that with his supreme talent and the 16 days of testing on the GP bike that he will get before Qatar race weekend, I think he'll be in a reasonable shape (if not properly competitive).

I don't think there is anything (apart from the D16RR) that is remotely close in terms of power, handling, brakes or electronics to a modern GP bike. Not to mention Miller will have restrictions in place as to what bike he is allowed to ride and whether or not he is even allowed to ride a track bike on a race track.

Well, I don't think riders have a contract which forbids them from riding other bikes in their personal lives (I could just be plain wrong, I don't have any proof to back that up), but either ways, I am willing to bet money that Honda will not stop him from riding a race tuned FireBlade SP.

The FireBlade SP and all other homologation specials with upgrades like ECU tweaks, race exhaust, weight reduction etc (which is what I mean by race spec) make about 230hp can EASILY go within 5% of the GP bike's laptime, which is good enough. Not to mention, prototype GP bikes actually brake, handle and turn better than the road going bikes. The whole point of the exercise would be to get used to the power in the straight line and get his vision and senses well trained before jumping on the real thing. The difference will be way smaller than a direct jump from Moto3 to MotoGP.

Riders have contracts that (I'm pretty sure based on interviews with ex-riders) state very explicitly what sort of training and other activities they are allowed to take. I'm pretty sure that riding at any trackday event (a private trackday might even be in breach of the testing limit rules?) is one of those things that contracts deem too high a risk.

We'll probably just have to agree to disagree I feel. I have no doubt that Miller will be able to get to within 5% of a good lap time in his first test session. As Krop has said many many times, those last few tenths are always the hardest and nothing else but these bikes can prepare you for that.

Casey stoner jumped prematurely from 125s to 250s and said it was a mistake and dropped down to better his skills and then came on for strong showings in 250s when he was more "ready."

Gábor Talmácsi also jumped prematurely from 250 to motogp and did not accomplish much of anything and he won his 125 WC.

I don't pretend to be Carlo Pernat or Alberto Puig with an eye for future talent, but my gut tells me this is the wrong move. Passport wars shouldn't play. Give us the best riders on the best bikes regardless of what anthem plays at race end

HRC have given a 3 year contract to try and take some pressure of his first year, but there's no avoiding the fact that there is going to be some pressure on him to justify HRCs faith.. I hope Jack is level headed enough to learn steadily under those circumstances but it's a tough ask. It is a little different to Stoners situation though if you read his book.

When Stoner stepped up to 250 the first time he didn't have a competitive package and crashed a lot trying too hard. He had to demonstrate every time he went out that he was quick or his family's finances might have dried up, they only got as far as they did in those early days by the good grace of Alberto Puig. After he had proved himself in 125 and got the semi factory RS 250 he was immediately up front. If he had the opportunity on the factory RS 250 the first time He went to 250 I think he'd have done a lot better. Stoner certainly didn't have a 3 year HRC contract to fall back on in those days.

I can't help but feel like Yamaha should be the ones poaching Moto3 riders instead of Moto2 riders, because the Yamahas seem to prefer being ridden in line with corner speed, much more like the Moto3 bikes as opposed to the Moto2 squirrelyness of the Honda 213v's

Not sure I agree with the comments regarding miller should've gone to moto2 first. People look at the class as a feeder to motogp but it doesn't seem to be working that way besides a few exceptions. We've seen extremely talented riders get "lost" in this class. Miller being young & with the right crew behind him is being nurtured by HRC as the next star which I think is very clever on HRC 's part.

Right now, Moto2 is a good bracket filler on race day, but I am not sure it's actually groomed many to go fast in MotoGP. Marquez being the exception, but certainly not the rule.
All the tea-leaf gazing, and examination of the gizzards of disembowelled birds, or whatever other voodoo people want to practice will not affect the result one whit - it will be how the kid adapts.

He's the most consistently fast rider in Moto3, despite not being on the fastest bike (Honda), which is why he's leading the championship. Having seen the video of him at the Troy Bayliss Classic, he was very quick and held his own on the dirt track against the best international talent. He certainly showed he could slide both ends and stay upright.

Let's wait and see, shall we.

Moto2 might not be as dynamic THIS season, but that is entirely because Marquez, Redding, Espargaro, Ianonne, Bradl (maybe Smith)are now in MotoGP and at the pointy end. What remains are former MotoGP riders and Moto2 "lifers."
I would not call Pol, Redding or Ianonne slow. Bradl has led several races before his offs. Marquez is well, Marquez. He is a once-in-a-lifetime rider. Period.

Couple things as they bubble up in mind -

Re the bike, remember that this is the Honda Prod bike (not Factory bike) from this yr with an upgrade of 2014's factory motor but no seamless gearbox. Also I wince remembering my exhuberant expectations this time last year of a 2013 Tech 3 Yamaha without the anemic fuel restrictions, with a bigger engine alotment per season, A Espargaro wringing the snot out of it and less electronics keeping it in line. Then what came along, but a very small number of detuned engines with CRAP power output. What a disappointment! Folks that are saying that Miller is getting (and Rea et al are missing) this yr's factory bike would do well to consider things a bit longer.

Also, what the heck, just for entertainment's sake how about we do go ahead and enjoy watching Miller in the deep end w carbon brakes and Bstone tires for a season, followed by the zany 2016 yr on Michelins. Should be interesting, and in 2016 the whole paddock's apple cart is getting toppled.

Re passport politics, glad to see solid riders coming up from more countries than Spain and Italy. Miller is obviously a good rider, and being Australian is a small bonus for not only the series but also the team - they need to get their sponsors from SOMEWHERE, and Chupa pops et al from Spain can only do so much. If we need to complain about such things, which we likely needn't quite so much btw, I have always been more peeved by the 'one Honda always goes to a Japanese rider' passport gig providing us with a back of the grid rider.

Anyhoo, welcome Jack, albeit to the team lots of fans think grabs riders undeserving of rides. Crutchlow is a solid rider that hasn't reached his zenith yet but gets criticism, apparently for being forthright in speech and performing poorly on the Ducati, neither of which mean an Illmore to me re his likely performance on a Factory Honda next yr. (And re the reader saying 'hope you beat CC next season' - the bikes are going to be over 5 tenths off each other all yr just based on the seamless and a few odd bits missing on Miller's bike, let alone the electronics).

from memory Garry McCoy did quite well going from 125's to 500's. Dirt and speedway background.

McCoy was a real joy to watch. I miss the days of little to no traction control. McCoy would fling that 500 all around the track and it was absolutely superb. Maybe one day we'll get to see someone do that again.

If you've ever seen McCoy in a paddock on a CR500 then his comfortable transition from 125 to 500 seems a lot more understandable :)

Good Luck Jack ! geez, there's some mean-spirited 'followers' of racing here (use that term loosely) imagine, wishing someone 'isn't successful' That's just poor form.

A while back a motogp paddock insider's response to the question 'how do you beat marc marquez' was 'put jack miller and maverick vinales on factory bikes' well, here's hoping. Honda may well want to lock down threats to their Golden Boy MM as well outlined in posts above, but what if this golden boy also kills the spectacle of racing, by being so utterly dominant that people start turning off ther main race...a very real possibility, and a slightly dark possible future. I think Jack is a bit of an each way bet for Dorna here, in a post-jorge/dani future. He's also a lad, a personality who isn't afraid to speak his mind - and like Casey before him, has drawn flack from the couchracers more in tune with the standard 'i am 'appy, thank you team for bike, we will work hard and prepare' i mean, did everyone see the wet willy he gave Rins on the podium at Misano :) People do love that stuff, and I do believe, will warm to Jack.

Jack, do well ! I for one, do think you have the potential to be a champion in MotoGP.

Gut feeling tells me it will be tough for him, and obviously no-one's expecting miracles on the production bike.

My brain tells me that HRC take calculated risks, nearly always get their man and don't make many mistakes. Bradl and Bautista moving on from Honda this year after 3 years each is ultimately no biggie for HRC in the grand scheme of things - time to try some other folk out.

A useful by-product of Miller moving up is that HRC can get some info on how quickly one of their other proteges - for instance one not even currently in Moto3 but who they've had the age rules changed for because they think he'll be a title contender in year one - might be able to come through the ranks in future. The riders who will ultimately take Marc's place at the top of MotoGP are realistically not on the world stage yet.