Jack Miller, rider market, contracts, KTM, Enea Bastianini, Maverick Vinales, Pedro Acosta, GasGas

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Honda or bust: that’s the reality for Australian MotoGP rider Jack Miller, after his preferred option to remain with Austrian manufacturer KTM while riding for its second team in 2025 was closed off on Thursday morning European time.

Miller, set to be replaced by gun Spanish rookie Pedro Acosta at the factory KTM outfit for next year after his worst opening to a season since he was a rookie in 2015, has been overlooked for the newly-named Red Bull KTM Tech3 outfit for next season, with Enea Bastianini and Maverick Vinales crossing from Ducati and Aprilia respectively.

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KTM inking the signatures of Italian Bastianini, a five-time MotoGP race-winner, and Spaniard Vinales, who has won 10 MotoGP races for Suzuki, Yamaha and Aprilia, adds to a wild rider market silly season that will see five of the leading six riders in the world championship standings in different teams for 2025.


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At the most recent race in Italy two weekends ago, KTM confirmed MotoGP’s worst-kept secret when it promoted 20-year-old Acosta into Miller’s seat for next year.

After the race weekend at Mugello, championship leader Jorge Martin shocked the paddock when he signed with Aprilia 24 hours after being overlooked by the factory Ducati team in favour of Marc Marquez, the six-time premier-class champion taking Bastianini’s place alongside reigning two-time world champion Francesco Bagnaia.

With the four seats at KTM out of the question, Miller’s likely only hope to extend his MotoGP career into an 11th season is to renew ties with Honda, who have 2020 world champion Joan Mir (the factory Repsol Honda team) and Japanese veteran Takaaki Nakagami (the satellite LCR Honda team) out of contract at the end of 2024.

Honda, since Marquez left for Ducati at the end of 2023, is mired in an unprecedented slump, sitting last in the sport’s constructors’ championship with just 19 points, while Mir (18th) is its highest-placed rider, no Honda rider finishing better than 12th in a race all season.

Miller began his MotoGP career with Honda from 2015-17, taking his maiden win at the 2016 Dutch TT in atrocious conditions from 18th on the grid.

He moved to Ducati from 2018-22, winning three more Grands Prix and twice finishing inside the top five in the world championship, but a promising first year at KTM in 2023 is a distant memory this season, the 29-year-old crashing out of three of the seven Grands Prix to date to sit just 16th in the world championship standings with 27 points, not finishing better than fifth in a sprint race or full-distance Grand Prix.

Acosta, riding the same RC16 machine used by Miller and teammate Brad Binder branded as a GasGas this season, has 101 points and a pair of podium finishes after just seven races in the premier class.

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