Jack Miller is on the brink of sealing a switch to the factory Ducati MotoGP squad for 2021 according to Pramac Racing Team Manager Francesco Guidotti.
Miller, who has competed with the Ducati satellite outfit since 2018, is set to replace Danilo Petrucci at the official team next year, while the future of Ducati’s current leader Andrea Dovizioso also remains in doubt over reported money troubles.
Speaking to MotoGP.com, Guidotti reckons Miller joining the factory Ducati team is a likely outcome, and revealed that negotiations between the two parties are currently underway.
“The most logical and normal situation is that Jack will go to the factory team,” said Guidotti.
“He is ready for the factory team. I’m not sure if the deal is done because since the end of last season we have a new deal with Ducati.
“We used to be independent in the choice of our riders. Of course, we always informed Ducati and then involved them in the negotiations. The first step, the first approach to a new rider was done by us.
“At the end of last year, we decided to swap the positions, and now the first approach is done by Ducati because they wanted to make a plan in the medium to long term with young riders and they asked us if it was possible.
“Of course, they keep us updated step by step. So, regarding Jack, they’re doing the negotiations and, as far as I know, it’s not done yet.
“But, of course, from both parties there is the intention to do the deal. I think it’s close.”
Guidotti also confirmed that KTM had approached the Australian with a large money deal to join lead rider Pol Espargaro in the factory team, although Miller ultimately elected to remain within the Ducati fold.
“Last year Jack could have gone when KTM offered him a bunch of money, but he stayed with us with, let’s say, not for little money but much less,” he said. “It means he’s very happy with the technical aspect, he likes the bike and the feeling is good.”
Rumours have circulated recently that Ducati may move Petrucci into its World Superbike outfit following his competitive slump after winning the Italian Grand Prix last year, where he would take the place of Chaz Davies, and link up with reigning British Superbike champion Scott Redding.
The Italian is no stranger to superbike competition, having secured a runner-up championship position in the ’11 Superstock 1000 Cup on Ducati machinery prior to his MotoGP switch with Ioda-Suter in ’12.
Miller, whose ’16 Dutch TT victory with the Marc VDS Honda team remains his sole premier class success, will become the first Australian rider to compete for the factory Ducati squad since the exit of Casey Stoner at the conclusion of 2010, should he agree terms.