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Miller admits KTM 2020 chance was "tough to turn down"

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Miller admits KTM 2020 chance was "tough to turn down"
By:
Co-author: Lewis Duncan
Aug 22, 2019, 2:02 PM

Pramac Ducati MotoGP rider Jack Miller says it was “tough” to turn down the opportunity to join KTM’s factory roster for 2020 following Johann Zarco’s early exit.

Just a few days after Miller’s own MotoGP future was thrown into doubt due to the possibility of Ducati reuniting with Jorge Lorenzo for next year, KTM announced that Zarco would depart its works squad midway through what was to be a two-year deal.

By that point Lorenzo had already decided to stick with Honda, and though Miller was thought to be very high on KTM’s list of potential replacements for Zarco, it was announced just two days later that the Australian rider would stay with Pramac.

Miller admitted he had been tempted by the prospect of a KTM reunion, having come close to winning the Moto3 title with the Austrian manufacturer in 2014, but ultimately felt continuing with a factory-spec Desmosedici bike would be more beneficial for his career.

“For sure I had to think about it,” Miller said. “KTM are a great manufacturer, I've had a lot of success in the past, and I have a great relationship with Mr. [Stefan] Pierer and Pit Beirer and these guys like that. I have a really good feeling with them.

“So, I mean, it was kind of tough to turn down on that way - but for me, to take a risk at this time of my career, when things just kind of start getting on the track, let's say, getting some podiums and getting where I'd like to be…

“Seems like in my career I've always done that, just started going quite well and then challenged myself immediately again, thrown myself back under the bus. I'd like to spend some time out from under the bus and up inside a seat.”

Miller said last time out at the Red Bull Ring that the realisation Lorenzo could take his ride “hit me like a ton of bricks” - but has now insisted he’s happy to “sweep the s**t under the rug and leave it there” in the aftermath of that situation.

Asked by Motorsport.com whether he felt he’d deserved better from Ducati, Miller said: “ I think you can't really dwell on that sort of thing. I mean, he's a three-time MotoGP world champion. He's won on the [Ducati] bike already in the past. He's got a great, let's say, history.

“But also he's 32. Probably done half the season last year and last season this year. Missed a whole heap of races last year, missed a whole heap of races this year. We have to look at the reality of the situation, where he is at in his career. And I feel I'm just starting to get going.

“But there's no need to dwell on it. I'm not butthurt or anything like that. I'm not losing sleep over it. That's the business - this paddock is full of decisions like that, day in, day out, so it doesn't bother me one bit.”

Jack Miller, Pramac Racing

Jack Miller, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

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Espargaro: "Brave" Zarco/KTM split good for both parties

Espargaro: "Brave" Zarco/KTM split good for both parties
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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Jack Miller
Teams Red Bull KTM Factory Racing , Pramac Racing
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy