Jack Miller has admitted that despite “quite a bit” of handshakes on an agreement, his 2020 ride is still ongoing.
The Australian, who has been with Pramac Ducati since 2018, was considered for the second factory Ducati ride for next year before Danilo Petrucci’s solid form – including a first win at Mugello – helped the Italian lock the seat for 2020 and a Miller to rule out promotion.
Miller’s future could become much clearer if Pramac secures a budget to run two factory bikes for 2020. The 24-year-old’s teammate, Francesco Bagnaia, has stated in his contract that he must receive a factory bike for 2020.
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Ahead of the Czech Grand Prix this weekend, Miller said he wasn’t “stressed” by the ongoing talks, but admitted that he was “on the same spot” in the talks with the team as he was before the summer break.
“Nothing has changed about that,” he said when asked about the status of the negotiations.
“I’m on the same point, the team … we pretty much shook hands, but the team is still finalizing.
“A lot is happening behind the scenes in terms of [Bagnaia’s] 2020 bike, my 2020 bike … so just organize how you have the budget for it and all that stuff.
“It just takes time, it’s a pretty big change in terms of the team and budgets and stuff, both from the team and from Ducati.
“It takes time, but where else should I go? I’m not stressed. “
“We pretty much shook hands, but the team is still finalizing.”Source: AFP
Miller started the 2019 season in Qatar bizarrely when he had to give up with a loose saddle. He then made an excellent recovery with fourth place in Argentina before finishing on the podium in Austin.
Top-10 finishes in Le Mans, Barcelona, Assen and the Sachsenring were welcome results, but accidents at Jerez and Mugello ruined potential podium finishes.
Ducati has won twice this season – for Andrea Dovizioso in Qatar and Petrucci in Mugello – but it was a year differently controlled by Marc Marquez, who rigged his Honda to five race wins and eight out of nine finishes in the top two.
The Dutch TT and the German Grand Prix were a challenge for Ducati, with Dovizioso being critical of the Desmosedici GP19 after the Sachsenring race.
With the aim of making the bike spin better, Dovizioso said Ducati should forget about trying to catch up with runaway leader Marquez.
“We need to sit down more than ever and develop a strategy for the future,” said Dovizioso.
“The shooting work is difficult and not our specialty, so it will probably take time, but I think we need to focus entirely on that aspect now.”
Miller rides Dovizioso’s factory Ducati earlier this year.Source: AFP
Miller sympathized with Dovizioso’s comment, but waited until after the Czech weekend before he could judge Ducati’s plans.
“I think it was a difficult point after the last two races,” Miller replied when asked for Dovizioso’s comment.
“Well, three for him, considering he was pulled out in Barcelona, and then Assen and Sachsenring were both shitty tracks for us.
“We’ll see how well they did this weekend, and then we’ll see… if you don’t have that feeling, you just don’t have that feeling.
“I hope we can get it back [in Brno] and to be able to drive in our comfort zone and be as fast as on other routes. “