Bagnaia: Miller ‘deserves’ factory Ducati MotoGP seat

Jack Miller

Francesco Bagnaia believes that Jack Miller “deserves” to retain the other seat at Ducati’s factory MotoGP team next year.

Bagnaia is one of just a handful of riders who knows for sure where he will be in 2023, following a contract renewal sometime earlier this month.

What remains unresolved at the Ducati Lenovo Team, however, is who will be the Italian’s team-mate going forward.

Miller’s current contract runs out at season’s end and he is under pressure not just from Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin but also Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastianini to keep his seat at the works squad.

Bagnaia has only ever had one team-mate in MotoGP, having shared the Pramac garage with Miller in 2019 and 2020, and wants that relationship to continue.

“I have a wonderful relationship with Jack,” ‘Pecco’ told Sky Sport in his native Italy.

“We know each other well, we always help each other, even in the tests it was essential to have someone like him by my side.

“I would very much like to continue with him; he is strong, he deserves confirmation.

“[But it will be] Ducati’s choice, and there are many young people who are pushing to get to the second seat of the factory team.”

Miller finished fourth in the 2021 championship, 71 points behind runner-up Bagnaia.

Martin, in his rookie season, gave Pramac its first premier class race win when he took victory at the Red Bull Ring, while Bastianini picked up podiums in both San Marino races on a two-year-old Ducati at Esponsorama Racing.

Miller is aware that he must be a more consistent performer in 2022.

“Just try and keep my feet on the ground, keep focused and understand that we’ve still got a big plate of work ahead of us,” he explained regarding his approach to the season ahead.

“The season is super long, with a lot more races [21], a lot more travelling, stuff like that. We just have to try to stay focused throughout the whole lot.

“We can’t take our eyes off the ball; I think that’s going to be the most important thing, to try to avoid the lapse in the mid-season or the rocky start.”

Round 1, the Qatar Grand Prix, takes place next weekend.

Francesco Bagnaia