Jack Miller, 19, to make leap from Moto3 to MotoGP in 2015
Red Bull KTM Australian rider Jack Miller celebrates after taking pole position in the Moto3 race of the San Marino Moto Grand Prix at the Misano world circuit in Misano Adriatico on September 13, 2014.
Australian teenager Jack Miller will make the giant leap directly from Moto3 to MotoGP in 2015 on the back of a Honda contract to race for the CWM LCR Team.
Miller will race a production level Honda RC213V-RS Open Specification bike alongside British rider Cal Crutchlow, who will be aboard a factory RC213V prototype.
Miller, 19, is being groomed for MotoGP success by the Honda Racing Corporation, who have a played a key role in pulling together he LCR deal.
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LCR Honda, run by former racer Luci Cecchinello, is the team that gave fellow Australian Casey Stoner his rookie start in MotoGP in the 2006 season.
Miller continues a long line of Australian riders who have been signed by Honda, including MotoGP world champions Wayne Gardner, Mick Doohan and Stoner.
Miller is currently leading the 250cc Moto3 world championship for KTM but will bypass the traditional route of 600cc Moto2 and make the leap to the 1000cc, 200 mph premier class bikes.
“I’m very happy to make the leap up to MotoGP next year, especially because I will do so alongside HRC. It’s a dream come true," Miller said.
"I think that every rider would like to race at the highest level in the World Championship with a Honda. It is certainly a big jump from Moto3 to MotoGP, but I am convinced that we are ready and that, step-by-step, learning every day, we can do a great job.
"It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m very excited about starting this new stage of my career with HRC, whom I wish to thank.
"In the meantime, I remain fully focused on this season’s Moto3 World Championship. I will have to avoid any distraction in order to fight for the title.”
Miller’s dramatic move direct to MotoGP has surprised many in the sport with leading riders such as Valentino Rossi and 2013 Moto2 world champion Pol Espargaro suggesting it too much too soon.
But Cecchinello is confident that Miller can pull it off if he takes measured approach in his expanded two-rider team for 2015.
Although yet to be officially announced it looks likely that highly experienced crew chief Cristian Gabarrini, who led Stoner’s team at both Ducati and Honda for two world titles, will be Miller’s crew chief.
"This is a very exciting project and a completely new challenge for us," Cecchinello said.
"We do believe that Jack will be a future strong performer in the premier class due to his undeniable talent, motivation and drive.
"Together with Honda, we will do our best to let him familiarize himself, step by step, with the MotoGP class.
"For sure Jack will need time to learn how to ride a 1000cc machine but there is no rush, and next year will just be a learning season for him in the new Class.
"Honda has a long term plan with him and we believe that, with no pressure, Jack will be able to show his talent in MotoGP.”
HRC marketing director Livio Suppo said that 2015 will be a "schooling year" for Miller in MotoGP and there are "no expectations" on results.