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Miller's stocks up despite teammate's MotoGP™ title, says Patterson

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Jack Miller's standing in MotoGP™ has been enhanced in his five-year stint at Ducati despite teammate Pecco Bagnaia snapping the Italian manufacturer's 15-year title drought this season; that's the view of MotoGP™ journalist, podcast host and analyst Simon Patterson, who features on the latest episode of the In The Fast Lane podcast.

Miller, 27, leaves the factory Ducati team for KTM next season after scoring the most points (189) and most podium finishes (seven) in a single season in his eight-year premier-class career, but finished fifth in the 2022 MotoGP™ standings as teammate Bagnaia became Ducati's first world champion since Australian Casey Stoner in 2007.

Speaking to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation's official podcast, Patterson said Miller, who secured a fourth career MotoGP™ victory by dominating the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi in September, will be able to extend his career on his own terms after inking a deal to ride for KTM alongside South African Brad Binder for the next two seasons.

"For a guy who looked a few years ago that maybe his position in the paddock was in a little bit of jeopardy, he's really cemented his role here and we'll see him stay as long as he wants to," Patterson said.

"Jack has managed to do that quite difficult thing at Ducati in that he's matured into himself and become a more confident racer. He doesn't make the mistakes he used to early in his career, and he's a real team player. He says good things talking about the team … and he's able to be both the corporate guy and the clown.

"We know him and Bagnaia always got on well, but the relationship … they were teammates. Him and Brad Binder together, it's going to be non-stop laughs."

Bagnaia won the 2022 championship despite trailing Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo by 91 points at the midway stage of the season, but Patterson believes the past three years have only confirmed Marc Marquez's status as the best rider in the sport.

Marquez, who has undergone four surgeries to his right arm since crashing in the 2020 season-opening race at Jerez in Spain, has started just 27 of 52 Grands Prix in the past three seasons, where Joan Mir (2020), Quartararo (2021) and Bagnaia (2022) have become world champions after Marquez won four titles in succession from 2016-19.

The 29-year-old Spaniard qualified his Honda on the front row of the grid in the final three races of this season, and Patterson feels this week's first pre-season test for 2023 in Valencia will reveal plenty about his prospects of a seventh premier-class crown next season.

"I still think he's the best talent on the grid," Patterson said.

"We haven't seen real Marc Marquez until the last few races (of 2022) because of all of the complications of the broken arm, the surgery, the infection, more surgery … the fact he was winning races when the bone in his arm was broken and displaced by 34 degrees (in 2021), that's a huge amount.

"We'll know whether or not Marquez can be champion next year (in testing). It all depends on the level of new Honda that they bring, because – like Yamaha with Quartararo – the bike is the limiting factor."

The In The Fast Lane podcast is available on Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts platforms.

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