‘You never know when it’s going to end’: Miller targets big finish to Ducati career

Piastri denies Alpine move in 2023 | 02:35
Michael Lamonato from Fox Sports

Jack Miller says he’s treating every race like it’s his last as he looks to sign off his Ducati career on a high.

Miller announced in June that he’s switching to the KTM factory team for 2023 after five years riding Bolognese bikes, including two for the works team.

It ended months of speculation that the team was considering replacing him with Jorge Martin or Enea Bastianini, bringing his future into his own hands.

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But Miller said there was no crimp in the relationship with the team despite his Ducati career coming to an end sooner than expected, and he said his only target for the final nine rounds was to ensure him and his mechanics enjoyed the twilight of their time together.

“I don’t know what the next years hold for me, I don’t know whether I’m going to be able to fight for podiums every weekend like we are now, so I said, ‘All I want to do with you boys is have an awesome time for the rest of the year and do the best that we can’, because you never know when it’s going to be a last one, so enjoy each one like it is going to be a last one,” he told the In the Fast Lane podcast.

“I see a lot of people get caught up in not enjoying the moment enough. These are massive things, what I’ve dreamt about since I was a kid, whether it’s achieving a podium or whatever.

“I just try to take the most out of it and enjoy it, because you never know when it’s going to end.

“That’s the biggest thing, just enjoying riding the bike, enjoying being with those guys.”

An amicable ending isn’t a given for MotoGP riders. Friction is frequent in the tight-knit paddock thanks to the cut and thrust of cold-blooded contract negotiations.

Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty ImagesSource: Supplied

But Miller’s reputation as a no-nonsense and honest dealer in the paddock means few have a bad word to say about him, and resultantly he’s forged strong bonds with his team of mechanics regardless of the noise that’s surrounded him at Ducati.

It means that despite his long-running problems with his rolling one-year deals and his distaste for the Bologna rumour mill, his relationship with his team is stronger than ever as he brings his tenure on the Desmosedici to a close.

“The crew I’ve got, I’ve been with a lot of them for a very, very long time,” he said. “We have a great relationship. They’re all still coming to the wedding and they’re all still keen on being my mate. That’s the biggest thing that I look at.

“A lot of people when they leave or change teams or whatever, it’s not the end of the world. That’s what happens in racing especially, but it happens in life in general. Things move on, things change.

“You can’t go and set a fire before you walk out and leave everyone with a shit taste in their mouth. You want to enjoy the moment with those people because we’ve had such an amazing time together. Why ruin it now?

“We’re all moving on and were all going on to different things, but at the end of the day we’re all still mates and we can still have a good crack at it this year and see what we can do. They’re all super understanding.

“I said it all before it all came out in the press and whatnot. I went and spoke to them all individually, and I think that’s the most important thing, just keeping the openness in the box and understanding with the boys where you’re at. I like that.

“I have a personal attachment. I like to keep it personal with my boys. My life’s in their hands. I think we’ve got more than a friendship. It’s good.”

Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The same goes for management, with Miller insisting there’s been no change in the way he’s being treated by the team’s hierarchy despite his impending switch to a rival manufacturer.

“The team haven’t changed [after the announcement],” he said

“They know I’m pushing the most I’ve ever pushed. I’m the lightest I’ve ever been. I feel like I’m the best version that I’ve ever been. I feel like they can see it.

“I’ve been at other manufacturers. When you’re going to leave, they start winding things down and stuff like that. That’s one good thing I have to say with Ducati — they won’t back off.

“They want their bikes on top, they want their riders on top. That’s why they have eight bikes on the grid and every single one of those bikes can win a race, because they want that. That’s what they’re pushing for, so they’re not going to change.”

And Miller is optimistic he can end his time with the team on a major high. Though he’s yet to win a grand prix this season, he said he was aiming to at least build his podium tally, currently on 18, to carry momentum into next season.


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“I don’t know what it is, I get a good feeling towards the end of the year,” he said. “Each race I feel better and better.

“I feel like we can finish the season pretty strongly, like we have done in the last couple of years.

“I’m excited to see what we can do towards the back end of the season. I do not want to put a goal or anything like that. Like I’ve said all along, I just want to try and enjoy myself, enjoy these last nine races with the factory team, the factory Ducati, and try to put as many podiums under my belt as possible.

“I think we’re nearly at 20 now, and you know I’d love to get over that number. Who knows, then another race victory would be fantastic.

“To finish on a good note — we’ve had such a great run with them, and I’m so grateful to them that I’d love to finish it out on a happy note and start off this next chapter of my career in the best way possible.”