Race winners since 2020 but never higher than fourth in the constructors’ standings, KTM have suddenly emerged as Ducati’s most consistent challenger to the reigning champion.
The Austrian factory is second behind Ducati in the constructors’ pursuit, while Brad Binder is better than the non-Desmosedicis with fourth in the riders’ standings. It will be a new high for KTM if it can stay in the top four.
Miller’s new team-mate’s first nine laps brought a trio of third places, first rows in qualifying and eighth overall – one place higher than the same period last season in the official Ducati team.
Such performances no doubt caught the eye of Acosta, who won the Moto3 title as a rookie and now leads the Moto2 standings.
While KTM stressed there was no rush for the 19-year-old to reach MotoGP, Acosta decided the time was right and will step up in 2024.
“I’m very, very happy for KTM because Acosta has been in the family for a long time – and that keeps the pressure on me!” Miller said Crash.net.
“It’s good for KTM to be able to keep him on the bike and I think that’s also down to the work we’ve done this year in terms of making it one of the most desirable bikes on the grid. And he wants to be in it.
“It would be foolish to think that he wouldn’t have other MotoGP offers. So it’s nice to have the bike at this level and to be able to sign the new up and coming guy.
“I don’t know where they put him yet, but it’s not my problem!
“[Acosta] He just needs to get in here, get comfortable and do what he knows how to do, which is ride a motorcycle super fast.”
Miller: ‘Fantastic’ if KTM signs a big name like Marc Marquez
The Australian has a similar view of the Marc Marquez-KTM rumors that persist in the MotoGP paddock: “That would mean we’re doing something right, making this bike desirable enough for someone who has won eight world titles to change.”
A Repsol Honda rider since his debut in the top division, Marquez’s extraordinary success was halted by hand injuries in 2020. After winning an average of eight races a season and lifting six of seven titles, Marquez has only won three races since .
With Marquez confident his physical woes are finally behind him, the spotlight is firmly on the elusive RCV, which has rarely matched the dominant European marques this season.
Honda’s woes have fueled rumors that Marquez, 30, may be running out of patience. And with Red Bull already a big personal sponsor, the KTM connection often dominates the season’s silly headlines.
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) August 4, 2023
You hear the rumors Jack, how would you feel if Marc Marquez raced for KTM?
Miller: “I wouldn’t care! Not at all.”
Would it be good for KTM?
Miller: “Of course it would.”
But some say that if Marc didn’t win, people would blame KTM…
Miller: “Yeah well, that’s what some people are doing now, accusing [his] bike. Don’t get me wrong, I know Marc is a fantastic rider, but that’s what people are doing right now.
“Rins won on a Honda, he was competitive on a Honda, but people don’t see that. And it wasn’t that long ago. Rins’ crash at Mugello was really unlucky, but it was a crash any of us could have had where he lost the front end, got unlucky in the gravel and broke his leg.
“But if Marc were to come to KTM, it would be fantastic for KTM to sign a big name like that. Again, it would mean we are doing something right. Making this bike desirable enough for someone who has won eight world titles to change.
“But we’ll have to wait and see.”
Miller and team-mate Binder are under contract with Red Bull KTM until at least the end of the 2024 campaign, when Marquez’s current deal with Honda is also set to expire.
With GASGAS team-mates Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez also signed for next season, KTM’s possible options to accommodate Acosta include seeking permission for a fifth machine or switching one of the Tech3 riders to trials and wild card.
#Jack #Miller #Fantastic #KTM #sign #big #Marc #Marquez #Exclusive