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27 days ago
By @skysportmotogp

"Miller will be a Championship contender" - Ciabatti

The Ducati Sporting Director feels his confidence is well placed in the Aussie rider, as well as in the three rookies who join the ranks

Jack Miller didn't need to blow the world away in 2020 to become an official Ducati rider. The transition from the Pramac satellite stable to the Ducati Team rests on solid foundations, put in place over a number of encouraging years with the Bologna Bullets. In a unique and unusual 2020 Championship, Miller often shone as the best of the Ducatis, quick in Qualifying, constant and competitive on race day. Podiums and strong performances earned him the right to ride on the number one team. Something which his new sporting director, Paolo Ciabatti, believes could help him challenge for honours in the coming season.

"Jack finished the season in an exceptional way if he manages to start 2021 in the same way he will surely be one of the contenders for the World Championship", said the Italian in an interview given to Sky Sport HD.

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Miller will be joined by his Pramac Racing colleague Francesco Bagnaia one the 2021 Ducati Team, while the likes of Moto2™ graduates Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing), Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini (both Esponsorama Avintia Racing) will ride a Desmosedici. Ciabatti is excited by what the future holds.

"We focused on young people because in the Factory team we have two experienced drivers, especially Miller, but let's not forget that Jack is just 26 and Bagnaia is 24. Then we have the three most promising rookies, who are Bastianini, Marini and Martin.”

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In 2020 Bagnaia demonstrated exceptional things on the track, earning a podium in Misano, and this year, with the support of the factory team, he will be aiming for even more as a top rider, while Marini and Bastianini, already a World Champion, arrive in the top flight with burgeoning reputations.

“Both Enea and Luca had an excellent Championship, proving not only to be fast but also to have the necessary maturity to manage difficult situations”. Ciabatti said, who ends still talking about his riders: "I think both Jack and Pecco have the characteristics to do very well. Jack finished the 2020 season in an exceptional way, if he manages to start 2021 in the same way, it will surely be one of the contenders for the World Championship. This does not mean that Pecco is not able. He started very well, then he had an accident that kept him out for several races and in Misano, he did two spectacular races. He has a little less experience in MotoGP™, but we also expect great things from him.”

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