Ducati extends Jack Miller contract through 2022

MotoGP Ducati Lenovo Team, has announced today the contractual extension of Jack Miller until the end of 2022. The Australian rider will thus remain at the squad from Borgo Panigale all through the current and following seasons. 

Following the announcement, the pilot from Townsville spoke of his happiness and gratitude for the trust placed in him: 

 “I am thrilled to be able to continue my adventure with the Ducati Lenovo Team also next season! Wearing these colours is a great honour for me, and having been able to win the last two races on the Desmosedici GP is a real dream! It wouldn’t have been possible without the great support that I’ve received from Ducati and the whole team during the last months”.
“And I want to thank Gigi, Paolo, Davide, and Claudio for the faith they had in me. Now I can solely concentrate on the current season. We are fourth in the standings, not far from the leader, and the Championship is still very long. I will do my best to continue this positive trend and fight for the title. Forza Ducati!.”

Ducati, delighted after the contractual extension

Luigi Dall’Igna, General Manager of Ducati Corse, also had a few words of acknowledgement and satisfaction to share with the press: 

“We are delighted to be able to announce that we will continue with Miller also in 2022. In this first season, Jack has shown great talent, professionalism, and strong determination. He was able to secure two important victories in different conditions after a tough start to the season”.

“For sure, he is one of the riders that better knows how to understand our Desmosedici GP to fully take advantage of its potential in any condition, as the recent success in Le Mans has demonstrated. As always, our goal remains the Championship title, and we believe that with Jack and Pecco, we will be among the main protagonists of the 2022 title charge”.

A disappointing season start

Despite a somewhat lacklustre start to the season, the Aussie has taken gold at the last two rounds. As Dall’Igna said, those two consecutive victories would undoubtedly have contributed to ratify the extension of his contract for one more year. 

It has been during the Spanish and French Grand Prix that Miller has truly taken flight displaying two masterful performances in a row. For the first three rounds of the Championship, on the other hand, his performance was well below expectations with two ninth places and one zero in QatarDohaPortugal, respectively; an unfortunate stint that spawned some nervousness within the Bolognese team. 

Miller was signed to lead Ducati’s new project in 2021 from the Pramac Racing satellite team, where he competed for three full seasons. During the first three races of the current campaign, however, the Australian certainly didn’t look much like a leader 

His performances were so poor that some began to doubt he was up to the job of defending Ducati’s title bid. His young teammate, Pecco Bagnaia, on the other hand, was growing in confidence and skill after every race.

The Italian finished third, sixth and second in those same initial appointments, placing his more experienced teammate, and implicit mentor figure, in a very uncomfortable position. 

The ‘miracle’ in Spain & France after surgery

Technical and competitive considerations aside, Miller’s underperformance was due to an injury that has plagued MotoGP of late. The Australian was suffering from the so-called compartment syndrome, a muscular and neurological condition that alters the normal blood flow to the forearm, causing inflammation and pain. It seems that the increasingly powerful and fast MotoGP machines have led to the complete overexertion of this particular part of the pilots’ anatomy. 

After a successful surgical intervention on his right arm, he hit rock bottom in Portimao only to be reborn at the Spanish GP, where everything began to change. Fabio Quartararo, leader of the appointment, started suffering from the same condition as Miller during the race in Jerez. His misfortune was an opportunity for the #43, who took the win and regained his competitiveness. 

To show that his victory in Spain had not been struck of luck, he crushed all his rivals at the next appointment at the French GP, putting out a show of strength at a race marked by the changing weather and the many accidents. 

After the first five GPs of 2021, Miller now occupies the fourth place of the standings with 64 points, 16 less than the leader, Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), while Ducati commands both the Manufacturers and Teams standings. 

Images of Jack Miller: Ducati Lenovo Team.

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