Jack Miller ‘nervous’ of Martin, Bastianini in Ducati MotoGP seat fight

Jack Miller is impressed with and nervous of both Jorge Martin and Enea Bastianini after their 2021 MotoGP rookie campaigns... but it does motivate him too

Jack Miller - Ducati Corse

Jack Miller has expressed his wariness of the burgeoning talent emerging in the Ducati MotoGP ranks as he begins preparations for a 2022 MotoGP World Championship in which his factory seat could come under threat.

The Australian finally got his shot on factory machinery in 2021 for his seventh season of MotoGP, stepping up to the Ducati Corse outfit after three seasons with the satellite Pramac Racing team.

Tipped as a title contender, Miller began the season well with back-to-back wins within the opening five rounds, his first since a shock wet weather win in the Dutch MotoGP at Assen in 2016, 

However, thereafter he faded in the championship fight relative to team-mate Pecco Bagnaia, - whom he was considered team leader over - ending the year with only three further podiums even if fourth overall marked his best MotoGP result yet.

With Bagnaia emerging as favourite for the 2022 MotoGP title, Miller by contrast heads into the year wary of the threat to his seat from within the Ducati fold after starring performances from its two 2021 rookies Jorge Martin and Enea Bastanini.

Martin scored a win in Austria, four pole positions and four podiums in an injury-interrupted campaign with Pramac, while Bastianini scored two shock podiums on the two-year old Avintia Ducati GP19.

With Martin considered ‘next in line’ so to speak after his headline-grabbing campaign, Miller admits the strength of the Spaniard and Bastianini - who will switch to Gresini but remain on a year-old bike - gives him some anxiety.

“[The MotoGP field] It’s got its character and everything like that. All the rookies have been strong, it makes me nervous really, because they keep getting faster and faster. 

"They just keep getting faster and faster. Jorge has done a fantastic job and missed a few races this year. But he’s come in with the professionalism that maybe I was missing when I came in for sure. 

"He’s really stepped up to the plate and he’s done a fantastic job with his race craft, let's say.

"I wish these rookies would slow down a little bit. But it also makes me more and more keen to try and improve myself and become a better rider."

He goes on to add that his new factory status means it has been a bitter pillow to swallow when a rider like Bastianini overtakes him.

"It’s a lot of things that took me a long time to learn, but I think he’s a very complete rider. Him and Bastianini; getting passed by a year old bike is not fun," continued Miller. 

"I know how Dovi and Petrucci must’ve felt when I did it to them and it ain’t a good feeling that’s for certain.”