No factory ride for Aussie Jack Miller in reshuffled deck.
THE speculation was right on the money. Hot young property, Spaniard Maverick Viñales, has been confirmed at the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team for 2017 and 2018, replacing the departing world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who will lead the Ducati factory squad from next season.
The 2013 Moto3 champ Viñales, who is currently riding for Suzuki in the MotoGP championship where he is fifth in the standings, will partner nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi.
Ducati has finally made the choice between its two Italian riders with Andrea Dovizioso confirmed for 2017 and 2018 ahead of fast but crash-happy Andrea Iannone, aka The Maniac, who is now heading to the much-improved Suzuki team.
And Honda has stuck with under-performing veteran Dani Pedrosa for 2017 and 2018 after rumours he might be flung. Although Pedrosa is well regarded as a bike sorter, his retention by Honda perhaps suggests the talent pool in and around MotoGP is quite shallow. Marc Marquez is yet to re-sign with Honda, though this is a formality.
There was no elevation to a factory team for Australian Jack Miller, who rides for the Marc VDS Racing Team. The 20-year-old was hit hard by a motocross training injury before the season began, and then a broken foot in practice in the US. He desperately needs a string of good results to get his career moving in the right direction.