Things Look Uncertain For Ducati in MotoGP 2023
Things look uncertain in the Ducati camp next year. Four-time MotoGP champion Jack Miller has officially announced that he is changing teams. He will be moving on to the factory KTM team for the 2023 season. This comes after he has spent five years in the Ducati team. First he was at the Pramac team before shifting to the works team in 2021.
Jack Miller was an important part of the team at Ducati and was crucial to Ducati’s bike development and mechanics. This also makes this the latest of many instances of KTM snatching away members of Ducati over the last year. This also includes Fabiano Sterlacchini who had a sterling career at Ducati as the technical director for 17 years.
Ducati had reportedly offered Jack Miller a one-year deal to return to the Pramac racing team for 2023. This was after they signed Enea Bastianini for the factory team. However, Ducati stated that there are no hard feelings and they understand his decision to move on. Thus, even though he had already signed on for KTM, Ducati still allowed him to test out the new bikes and their parts.
Ducati Director Paolo Ciabatti reacts
However, when Motorsport.com asked Ducati director Paolo Ciabatti, he stated that they are not very worried. As to the probable leakage of classified information to a rival racing team he said “It’s something we can’t stop and it happens.”
He further stated that Ducati has different plans for Miller. They wished to offer him a factory bike at Pramac but only on a one-year contract. However, at KTM, Jack Miller clenched a two-year contract as a factory rider and probably “with a slightly better salary.”
Thus, Ciabatti said that it is “perfectly understandable. Ducati is proud to have developed very skilled engineers and obviously, we are very sorry when they decide to leave Ducati.”
“But sometimes after many years in the same position, some people want to see if there is an opportunity in a different role within the team and sometimes it's not possible for Ducati.
Thus, Ciabatti stated that it was inevitable that people would take a lot of knowledge with them to other teams. However there’s nothing to do about that.
Jack Miller had last ridden for KTM back in 2014 when he was the runner-up in the Moto3 world championship. Post that stint, he got directly into MotoGP with the Honda LCR team. At his last MotoGP race with Ducati at Valencia, Miller said that Ducati had been a “game-changer” for his career.
However, during his first test of the RC16 at the post-race Valencia test, Miller placed 17th overall and just 0.755 seconds off the pace.