Jack Miller is enjoying his best MotoGP season yet, but his Pramac Racing boss has denied reports the Australian will be promoted to the factory Ducati squad next season.
Italian media reports suggest Miller and factory Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci will swap seats as soon as next year, despite both riders being locked in for next season.
Petrucci – who claimed a maiden premier class win at Mugello – retained his ride for 2020, with Miller having to wait until mid-August to confirm a one-year extension with the satellite Ducati squad. He would later reveal he was courted by KTM, which severed ties with Johann Zarco.
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Contractual obligations to rookie Francesco Bagnaia held up the Miller deal, with Bagnaia’s contract stipulating he must also receive works machinery next year.
While Petrucci has a win to his name, Miller has beaten the Italian home in four of seven races since he re-signed with Pramac, and leads Petrucci in the 2019 podium count 4-3. Miller impressed to claim third on home soil at Phillip Island last month, where Petrucci crashed on the first lap.
Last weekend in Sepang, Miller – who led on the opening lap – faded to eighth, but was still one place ahead of Petrucci.
In the wake of his good form, eighth-placed Miller is just 27 points down on fifth-placed Petrucci in the standings with one race remaining.
Although unlikely, Miller can finish as high as sixth in the standings, while Petrucci could drop as low as seventh despite holding down third for much of the season.
Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti dismissed the reports and said his team expects to retain Miller.
“Of course everything is possible in racing. Because Ducati Corse has both rider contracts in hand.
“But we expect Jack to be with us, we sincerely hope that we can keep him. It was fixed with him at the GP of Austria, that he rides next year with us with a GP20.
“We have to dig deep into our pockets and invest more money, because Bagnaia has in his two-year contract the assurance of a GP20 for the second year.
“And of course we had to provide Jack with identical material.”