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KTM’s Emotional Rollercoaster: Celebrating Vinales and Bastianini Amidst the Heartbreak of Parting with Miller and Fernandez



KTM: Letting Go of Jack Miller 'Heartbreaking', 'Hope He Stays in MotoGP'

While KTM is thrilled to have Maverick Vinales and Enea Bastianini on board, they are saddened to part ways with Jack Miller and Augusto Fernandez.

KTM motorsport director Pit Beirer expressed mixed feelings, revealing his joy over acquiring Maverick Vinales and Enea Bastianini is somewhat dampened by the disappointment of parting ways with Jack Miller and Augusto Fernandez.

Miller, who has achieved victory in MotoGP races for both Honda (once) and Ducati (three times), began his tenure with Red Bull KTM at the beginning of the 2023 season.

Following an impressive beginning on his RC16, highlighted by two podium finishes in the fourth round at Jerez, the Australian racer has not appeared on the podium since. Currently, he holds 16th place in this year's rankings.

Despite the announcement that rookie sensation Pedro Acosta will join Brad Binder on the factory KTM team in 2025, Miller appeared to have a strong possibility of filling Acosta’s position at Tech3.

In a surprising move, KTM secured the signatures of both Enea Bastianini from Ducati and Maverick Vinales from Aprilia to complete their future Tech3 team roster.

"As you might expect, we are thrilled at the moment because we've managed to put together a very promising rider package for the future. With Enea and Maverick, we now have two additional highly skilled riders on our team," Beirer shared with a select group of journalists during a video call on Friday morning.

"However, this also necessitates parting ways with two riders currently on our team."

KTM Motorsports Director Pit Beirer commented, "You in the media kept an eye on the market just like we did. The Mugello event was pivotal because it all unfolded rapidly. The opportunity to secure these two riders was extremely brief."

In conclusion, I'm incredibly thrilled because, when you consider the facts, we have assembled some outstanding riders for 2025. This represents a significant advancement for the entire team.

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

"I truly wished we could restore Jack to his proper standing. At Mugello, finishing outside the points isn't where Jack Miller belongs."

"No matter what lies ahead, we need to change that, as it's not the way we should conclude our relationship."

"I believed we could offer more time to both Miller and Fernandez, but market conditions were extremely challenging."

“If you didn't seize the opportunity during that particular week near Mugello, you simply wouldn't get those opportunities again."

"We made the tough choice to proceed with a different set of riders, which wasn't part of our original plan at all."

"Jack improved our bike, but he might be the last one to enjoy the benefits."

Despite Miller's recent lackluster performance, Beirer wasted no time in emphasizing the significant role he has played in the RC16 project.

Ironically, adjustments made to areas like set-up and electronics by Miller and former Ducati crew chief Cristhian Pupulin have ended up being more advantageous for other KTM riders.

"It's widely known – I've mentioned it previously – that Jack, along with his crew chief and the team, made modifications to the bike that we had never attempted before," Beirer stated.

"At the start of last year, KTM expanded its capabilities. They introduced us to new possibilities that we hadn't considered before with KTM. This improvement pushed us to enhance our performance."

"However, even in the latter half of last season, Brad was able to take advantage of the improvements Jack made to the bike more effectively than Jack could. Jack began to struggle last year, and we were never able to resolve those issues."

"I continue to stand by the fact that Jack improved our bike, and right now it seems he might be the last one to gain from those enhancements. Our immediate goal, specifically for the upcoming Assen race, is to help Jack regain his form."

"He’s lacking something to feel comfortable on the bike, and we need to figure out what it is. We lost it at some point."

"Jack hasn't finished yet"

Beirer hinted that Miller likes a bike configuration that is "distinct" from the rest and mentioned that Miller could opt for Pedro's configuration if he wished. He emphasized that it would be a "win-win" scenario if they manage to improve Miller's performance this season.

Beirer stated that the goal is to bring him back and provide him with the opportunity to excel because he wants him to remain in MotoGP, secure a promising future, and land a solid racing contract.

"If he excels while playing for us, it benefits everyone. We achieve stronger outcomes, and it potentially aids him in securing a promising future in this sport."

"It seems to me that Jack hasn't finished yet."

Miller might have the possibility of going back to Honda in 2025, the team with which he launched his MotoGP journey. Alternatively, he could rejoin Pramac, the satellite team he competed with between 2018 and 2020, which is currently considering changing their partnership from Ducati to Yamaha.

Fernandez, who is just one position below Miller in the rankings, is believed to have opportunities in WorldSBK or Moto2 if he cannot find another top-tier team to join.

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