One year ago he made the unprecedented move from Moto3 direct to MotoGP. Now Australia’s Jack Miller is taking another decisive step in his two-wheeled career with a move to the relatively new Marc VDS team for 2016 and beyond.
Miller made the much-anticipated news public at the first official press conference of the 2015 race weekend at Phillip Island.
“It’s very exciting news for me,” said the 20-year-old MotoGP rookie. “I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter in my MotoGP racing career with them.”
Marc VDS themselves, based in Belgium, are MotoGP rookies, running a one-bike team for Briton Scott Redding, who currently sits 13th overall in the standings with 73 points on a satellite Honda.
“It looks awesome,” added Miller. “The package they have put together this year from the start has been really fantastic for their first year in the MotoGP world championship.”
Miller confirmed that all of the members of his current crew will be moving with him as Marc VDS expands to a two-bike operation.
And that creates a small problem for Miller: having a world champion as his team-mate. That’s Esteve ‘Tito’ Rabat, Moto2 title-winner in 2014, who stayed in the intermediate class for another season but is now ready to graduate to the highest class.
"I know stepping up to MotoGP on the factory Honda RC213V isn’t going to be easy, but I have all the winter to prepare, to make sure I’m strong and ready for pre-season testing,” Rabat has said.
"It’s going to be a steep learning curve, but the goal will be to improve step by step so that we’re ready for the first race in Qatar.”
Rabat met the Marc VDS Honda at a Michelin tyre test following the Aragon round and called it an ‘incredible’ experience.
“The first time you ride this bike you just aren’t prepared for it," he added. "There is so much speed, such hard acceleration and the corners arrive far too early!”
Miller and all Australian fans will be hoping Jack’s latest move isn’t also a little too early and that his career in the premier class is set to really take off.
Meanwhile he faces the small challenge of getting to grips with the demanding Phillip Island lay-out on a MotoGP machine for the first time.
“I don’t think we can try to expect too much,” Miller conceded. “In my first year I know that the track is one of the most difficult on the GP calendar in terms of grip level and also in terms of rideability.
“I think it can be a track that suits our bike: we seem normally to struggle on the tracks where it’s really tight, trying to get out of the corners, but the overall speed of this track should suit us a little better.”