Ducati: Miller “must be a contender for the title in the future”

Jack Miller. Photo: MotoGP.com

Ducati team manager Davide Tardozzi has said Jack Miller “must” fight for the MotoGP title in the future, in the midst of a 2021 “high and low” season.

Queenslander are fifth in the championship with two-thirds of the campaign over, but are behind team-mate Francesco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco of Pramac Racing, who also drives a current Desmosedici, on the table.

Miller started the season with ninth, ninth and one retirement results, before securing his first two victories with Ducati.

He has climbed three podiums in four races with a third place at Catalunya but has not been on the stand in the five races since, a period in which he has only finished in the top 10 twice.

Miller almost broke that drought on the podium last time at Silverstone, briefly edging Aleix Espargaro on the final lap but ultimately finishing fourth, and admitted on the eve of this weekend’s Aragon Grand Prix that he “needed[s] to get more points on the board.

Speaking on the global TV stream during Free Practice 1 in Aragon, Tardozzi was asked about this British Grand Prix race and responded in a way that could be seen as either positive reinforcement from him. ‘a non-native English speaker, or a thinly veiled person. threatens.

“It was a fantastic show, the last lap, Jack and Espargaro,” recalls the Italian.

“But in the end, Jack is going through some ups and downs this year, but we still think he’s really quick and has to be a contender for the title in the future.”

While the underlying meaning of Tardozzi’s comment is unclear, it’s worth noting how positive he was about Bagnaia in his immediately preceding response.

Bagnaia apparently suffered from a tire problem at Silverstone when he limped to finish 14th from the middle of the front row, but his team boss is adamant that a first class victory is not not far away.

“What’s going on at Silverstone, I guess, is obvious to everyone – I don’t want to keep talking about it – but Pecco has always been quick,” said Tardozzi.

“He hasn’t brought home what his speed shows because from the start he’s always been fast, he has fantastic podiums, but he deserves a win.

“He made a big mistake at Mugello [crashing from the lead on Lap 2] but you saw that there is a problem, but anyway Pecco has always been fast and he will achieve victory very soon.

Both Bagnaia and Miller are secured for 2022, but are nevertheless apparently already under pressure from Pramac rookie Jorge Martin, who is also directly under contract with the Bologna brand.

Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna enthusiastically expressed his praise when addressing the sports newspaper LIKE, from Martin’s native Spain, after the 23-year-old’s decisive victory in the Michelin Styrian Grand Prix and the podium a week later.

“He has the full backing of the factory,” Dall’Igna said on whether or not the former KTM junior might end up on a factory-entered Desmosedici in the future.

“Probably yes, but it depends on him and the other riders.

“We always want the best in the official team.”

Bagnaia and Miller both had fairly solid weekend starts at Aragon, a track that hasn’t been a particularly happy hunting ground for Ducati.

The former was third in Free Practice 1 in 1: 49.193 and the latter fifth in 1: 49.262, while Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez set the pace with a delay of 1: 48.048 on a new softer rear tire.

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