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MotoGP

Miller: Riders slagging off bikes can cost MotoGP manufacturers

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
4 min read

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KTM rider Jack Miller has doubled down on his pointed comments about what he perceives as undue and overbearing negativity from some of his MotoGP rivals towards their employers.

Miller said after the Sachsenring round that KTM was alone among the currently-dominant Ducati’s rivals in “getting on with the job” rather than complaining, and advised riders who were vocal about their displeasure with their bikes to “shut the f**k up”.

Those comments, given also some of the other specifics of what Miller said, were widely taken as referencing either or both of Honda’s Marc Marquez and Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo, two champions who have both been open about not feeling like they’ve been provided championship-calibre machinery in 2023.

Fabio Quartararo Yamaha Marc Marquez Honda MotoGP

Speaking to MotoGP.com ahead of the Assen weekend, Miller refused to name specific names and also acknowledged that he may have gone overboard with the rhetoric – although it’s not clear whether he meant the profanity or the ill-advised reference to his rivals as “princesses”.

“I could probably word my Australian a little bit better – but, no, 100 percent I stand by what I said!” Miller maintained.

“At the end of the day we’re all motorcycle racers, we’re all paid to be motorcycle racers. If the bike’s not where it should be, you’re paid to fix it, that’s your job. If you’re a construction worker, road worker, whatever, constantly complaining about your job and how bad it is, you’re going to get the sack, aren’t you?”

The Aussie, who ultimately confirmed in the subsequent press conference that he had been speaking about several riders including Marquez, did add another dimension to his criticism – leaning heavily into the fact that such conduct could be detrimental to MotoGP longer-term.

Jack Miller KTM MotoGP

“These companies are spending multi-multi-million dollars here, racing motorcycles, for you and for some people to drag their names through the dirt. And for the sport, is that healthy? No.”

Miller went on to reference the fact that his previous employer Ducati had only arrived to its current point of dominance after a largely chastening decade that included a famously failed dalliance with Valentino Rossi.

“Ducati are at the top at the moment because they’ve been put through the ringer the last 12 years. They didn’t get there overnight. It wasn’t that they just got a magic bike and that was it, they worked and they pulled themselves out of what were really dire situations back in 2011 and 2012, to where they are now.

“And people forget about that. And, you know, a lot of people want to write off a bike that won the championship three years ago, a lot of people want to talk rubbish about bike that won the championship four years ago.”

That appears to be a pointed reference to the Honda RC213V and the Yamaha M1, given that the only other bike that has triumphed in recent years besides the Ducati Desmosedici is the Suzuki GSX-RR, which is now absent from the grid.

Of Honda’s and Yamaha’s ‘talismanic’ riders, Marquez – though he effectively flipped the bird at his Honda back at the Sachsenring – has been more reserved in his public comments than Quartararo. While the Spaniard has been open in the fact the RC213V isn’t at the level he wants it to be, and has flirted with the possibility of leaving, Quartararo has been more scathing about the perceived lack of progress from Yamaha during his tenure there.

“At the end of the day, you’re a motorcycle rider, the job is to come here and do your job,” Miller continued.

Jack Miller KTM MotoGP

“Not to complain about the motorcycle. Not to drag the company that pays you, very well, through the dirt. It makes no sense to me.

“Like I said, it’s not healthy for the championship to have all of this negativity around. There’s always going to be bikes that are stronger. And if you’re going to constantly drag a manufacturer through the dirt and say how bad the bike is and how terrible everything is – what kind of image does that put out for that company? And is the company going to want to stay in the championship, listening to that?

“I don’t know, I’m not speaking for these companies – but if it was my company, would you want to be involved in something like that? I don’t know.”

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