‘People doubted us, Ducati’s MotoGP rivals are in trouble,’ Jack Miller warns

Jack Miller warns rivals to head into the winter worried about Ducati following the Italian team's largely dominant end to the 2021 MotoGP season

Jack Miller, Jorge Martin, Pecco Bagnaia - Ducati

Jack Miller has warned his rivals they will be ‘in trouble’ next season if they don’t step up the form against Ducati following a strong end to the 2021 MotoGP World Championship that yielded the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles for the Italian firm.

While the Riders’ title would escape both Miller and team-mate Pecco Bagnaia, going the way of Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo instead, there is little doubt Ducati had the edge over its rivals during the latter half of the year.

Indeed, Ducati walked away with five wins from the final nine races - from a total of seven achieved across the year - with Bagnaia winning four of them, Miller taking two and rookie Martin landing Pramac Racing’s first ever success in Austria.

It was a trio that would end the season with a 1-2-3 for Ducati in Valencia, a result that signalled an ominous outcome for the firm’s rivals given the technical layout has traditionally favoured Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda in the past, rather than the stiffer, more power-orientated set-up of the Desmosedici.

It’s a result that Miller says bodes well for Ducati next year, warning his rivals to get working over the winter if they want to stand a chance of keeping up with the manufacturer in 2022.

“We have tried some things in terms of parts for 2022, with the test in Misano and whatnot,” he said. “And my honest opinion is everything’s only better, so the rest of them are all in trouble next year, because it’s gonna be a big one!”

No magic overhaul, just MotoGP development work 

Interestingly, Miller says Ducati’s turn of form in 2021 isn’t the result of any significant development and instead says it is down to the tweaks made over a largely technically frozen winter and the impact of a young, hungry rider line-up keen to impress.

With this in mind, Miller says this is an area both he and Bagnaia are destined to improve as they get more comfortable on the bike.

“For sure we’ve improved, don’t get us wrong but to say that the bike has changed or done anything dramatic? If you’re really inside there, we haven’t changed that much. It’s just the thing is working more and more, I think the boys are working. 

“We came here, for example, in the first practice and we put the same setting as we had last year and was not working at all. We went immediately back to what we were using in Portimao, what we’ve used all year, and it was job done. We didn’t touch the bike really apart from some clicks here and there but nothing.

“I think we’ve all been very comfortable with this bike. We found a great package that works and you don’t have to adjust it. Overall every weekend, it’s working fantastic. So I think that’s more the thing, is just getting some time on the same bike, because we’ve been on it for two years. But 2022 bike, you’d better watch out!”