The destiny of Jack Miller seems to be 'signed', sealed and delivered in the sens that there is a bike ready and waiting for him in the official Ducati team for the next two years. We had given you advance news of this a few days ago and our forecasts are proving to be very well-founded indeed.
Should the Australian arrive in the factory team, for Pramac Racing it would mean having to find a replacement. Paolo Campinoti, the team owner, and Francesco Guidotti, the team manager, are already hard at work for the future.
Francesco, have you already said goodbye to Miller?
"I simply said that it would be natural for Jack to switch to the official team, that negotiations are on-going but also nothing is done yet. So the possibility of this move exists and, moreover, Miller came to Pramac with this goal in mind. It would be part of a natural growth process."
The desire to seal the deal is on both sides…
"Last year Jack received an excellent offer from KTM; he stayed with us because he was aiming to join the factory Ducati team. He gets on very well with the Desmosedici and knows very well what it means not to be comfortable with a motorbike, he's already gone through that. An agreement would be the consequence of a common desire on both sides. "
Who would leave a place for him, Dovizioso or Petrucci?
"I don’t know this. Sometimes one makes the mistake of thinking that everything is in Ducati's hands, but it is not only the manufacturer that dictates how and when. Even riders can find alternative solutions, they can choose”.
Do you think Miller is ready for the factory team?
"I was waiting to see him at work this season. From 2018 to 2019 he made a big step forward, so if he repeated it in 2020 there would be no need to wait until next year. But with ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ you never go anywhere, I can only say that he has made a great change, also from the point of view of his personal maturity".
If Miller leaves, who will you choose as his successor?
“We are not in a hurry at the moment, first Ducati will have to let us know about his moves and we will act accordingly. We also have a new agreement with Ducati, they will make a first evaluation for the riders, so we are at the window, but we are not in dire straits. In general, we would like to have a rookie."
A few weeks ago you told us that you would have Iannone back immediately (HERE the video with Guidotti) ...
“And I confirm it, although I don't think Aprilia will let him go. For sure, if there were the right conditions, we would talk to him. "
Iannone and Pramac seem like a combination that is resisting over the years, there seems to be this possibility even so often...
“Andrea was with us for two years, we achieved some satisfaction together, but we were never able to get on the podium, which we did with Petrucci and Miller. In a certain sense, it was unfinished business. I’m speaking more from a personal than a professional point of view, but I would like to close that circle”.
And what if Lorenzo wants to come to Pramac?
“I have never worked with Jorge, but I see him as being a long way away from our team spirit. He is a perfect professional and wants everything around him to be perfect, he is totally focused on the result and leaves little room for emotion. We go racing especially with our heart."
You are also a very professional team…
"Of course, but Lorenzo is a 5-time world champion, he demands certain standards and can only find those in a factory team, the only place where you can fight for the title. It's not a matter of professionalism or organization, but technical, it's the context that changes."
Last year the name of Alex Marquez was also mentioned…
"We started some contacts for 2021 but then, quite rightly, he took advantage of the opportunity to immediately switch to MotoGP with Honda. He has a one-year contract, with no options, and we left with the promise to speak again this year, but there was no such occasion. "
So let's make a list of rookies: Martin, Baldassari, Bagnaia, Navarro. Which one do you choose right now?
“I find it hard to say, without being able to race, you have to look at them in a wider perspective. You can't just evaluate what they did last year or limit yourself to isolated episodes, you need an overall picture. And then also a little luck (laughs)".
Will Bagnaia remain a cornerstone of the team for the next two years?
"Like all the other riders, he joined Pramac with a two-year contract and an option for a third year with the official team, but I think it will expire before the start of the championship. At the moment nobody is questioning his place, we are thinking of a renewal, but we are not in a hurry. We liked Pecco when we took him and we still like him very much now, he still has a lot to say."