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KTM’s Emotional Crossroads: Welcoming Vinales and Bastianini While Parting Ways with Miller and Fernandez

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KTM: Regret over losing Jack Miller 'truly disheartening', 'hope he remains in MotoGP'

KTM's excitement over acquiring Maverick Vinales and Enea Bastianini is mixed with sorrow over parting ways with Jack Miller and Augusto Fernandez.

KTM's motorsport chief, Pit Beirer, has expressed mixed feelings over the recruitment of Maverick Vinales and Enea Bastianini, revealing a blend of joy and sorrow due to parting ways with Jack Miller and Augusto Fernandez.

Miller, who has secured victories in MotoGP races for Honda once and Ducati three times, became a part of Red Bull KTM at the beginning of the 2023 season.

Following an encouraging beginning with his RC16 journey, highlighted by securing two podium finishes in the fourth round at Jerez, the Australian rider has not returned to the podium and presently sits in 16th place in this season's rankings.

Despite newcomer Pedro Acosta being officially designated to fill Miller's spot in the factory KTM team alongside Brad Binder for the 2025 season, Miller appeared likely to take over Acosta's position at Tech3.

In an unexpected move, KTM shocked many by securing both Enea Bastianini from Ducati and Maverick Vinales from Aprilia to establish the upcoming Tech3 team roster.

"Clearly, we're in high spirits at the moment given that we've managed to assemble a [rider] lineup for the upcoming seasons that holds a lot of promise. With Enea and Maverick joining us, we've added two incredibly talented riders to our team," Beirer shared with a select number of journalists over a video conference on Friday morning.

"However, this entails parting ways with two cyclists currently part of our team."

"Beirer pointed out that the media was just as tuned into the market dynamics as they were. He highlighted that the pivotal moment occurred at Mugello, where events unfolded rapidly. He emphasized the incredibly brief opportunity they had to bring these two young talents into the fold."

"In conclusion, I'm genuinely thrilled because, when you consider the evidence, the caliber of riders we've assembled for 2025 is exceptional. It marks a significant progression for the entire team."

However, it's truly disheartening to let go of Jack and Augusto.

"I truly hoped we could elevate Jack to the position he truly deserves. At Mugello, failing to score any points, that's not the standard for someone like Jack Miller.

"Regardless of what lies ahead, we must reverse that course, as it's not the conclusion we envision for our relationship."

"I believed we could extend a bit more time to each of the boys [Miller and Fernandez], yet the market faced significant pressure.

"If you missed the opportunity within that one-week period [around Mugello], those opportunities would no longer be available."

"Thus, we made the difficult choice to proceed with alternate cyclists. It's essentially like abandoning a strategy that was never intended. Absolutely not."

"Jack improved our bicycle… yet, it seems he might be the last one to reap the rewards."

Despite Miller's recent underwhelming performances, Beirer was swift to acknowledge the significant role he has played in the development of the RC16 project.

Interestingly, the modifications made to the configuration and electronic systems by Miller and ex-Ducati crew chief Cristhian Pupulin have turned out to be more advantageous for the rest of the KTM team members.

"Beirer openly admitted, emphasizing that he has mentioned this previously, that Jack and his crew chief, along with their team, made a modification to the motorcycle, something that had not been attempted prior."

"At the start of the previous year, they expanded KTM's capabilities. They introduced innovations in areas we had previously not considered exploring with KTM. This ultimately enhanced our performance."

"However, as early as the latter half of the previous season, Brad was able to gain significantly more advantages from Jack's modifications to the motorcycle than Jack could. Consequently, Jack began experiencing difficulties during the past year, from which we were unable to recuperate."

"I continue to acknowledge that Jack improved our motorcycle, and currently, it appears he's the last one reaping the benefits from those enhancements. Therefore, our immediate goal, not looking too far ahead but specifically for Assen, is to ensure Jack is up and running again."

"He's lacking something to feel confident on the bike, and we have to discover what it is. It seems we've misplaced that element at some point."

"Jack hasn't finished his work"

Beirer hinted that Miller's chosen bike configuration is "distinct" from the rest and mentioned that "he could opt for Pedro's configuration" as well, before emphasizing that it would be a 'win-win' scenario if they manage to reverse his season's fortunes.

"Our goal is to bring him back and provide him with a stage to excel because it's my desire for him to continue competing in MotoGP. I aim for him to secure a promising future with a strong team," Beirer expressed.

"Thus, if he excels in his performance with us, it's mutually beneficial. It leads to improved outcomes for us and, ideally, aids him in securing a promising career in this sport."

"In my opinion, Jack still has more to accomplish."

In 2025, Miller might consider going back to Honda, the team with which he initiated his MotoGP journey. Alternatively, Pramac, the independent team he was part of between 2018 and 2020, could be an option, especially as they contemplate moving from Ducati to Yamaha.

Fernandez, who is ranked just below Miller, is believed to be considering opportunities in WorldSBK or Moto2 should he not find a spot in the top-tier racing class.

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