Marc VDS Racing clarifies Jack Miller contract situation

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The contract saga surrounding Moto3 sensation Jack Miller for 2015 is showing no sign of reaching an amicable resolution.

The much sought after Aussie teenager signed a pre-contract for 2015 and 2016 to move to Moto2 with the Marc VDS Racing squad.

The Belgian-based Marc VDS Racing squad is adamant the pre-contract Miller signed with them last September to move to Moto2 is watertight, and he can only become a free agent again by paying a substantial penalty clause to be released.

As clear as Marc VDS boss Michael Bartholemy appears to be that Miller is his man in 2015, there are those, including Miller himself that are equally convinced he is on the open market and bound by no pre-contract agreement.

Miller’s current Red Bull KTM Ajo Motorsport boss Aki Ajo is also adamant that Miller, who he also personally represents, is not bound by any arrangement for the future with Marc VDS Racing.

Miller’s future has been the subject of intense speculation in the paddock recently, with some rumours that he could even be fast tracked immediately into MotoGP.

He has emerged as one of the brightest young prospects in the world championship, with three wins in the first eight races to lead the Moto3 series by seven-points from Romano Fenati and Alex Marquez.

With the situation rumbling on, the Marc VDS Racing team, which has been dominant in 2014 with Tito Rabat and Mika Kallio first and second in the rankings, has released a lengthy statement today clarifying its side of the Miller contract issue.

The full statement reads: ‘While the Marc VDS Racing Team would prefer to keep confidential their negotiations and agreements with riders, circumstances dictate that the team clarify their position with regards to Jack Miller. Jack Miller recently stated on the official Ajo Motorsport website that he has no contract for the future. This statement is inaccurate. Jack Miller signed a binding three-year contract with the Marc VDS Racing Team for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons. Under the terms of this six-page contract, the Marc VDS Racing Team negotiated on Jack Miller’s behalf to secure him a Moto3 World Championship ride with the Red Bull KTM Ajo Team in 2014. During the course of these negotiations Ajo Motorsport team owner, Aki Ajo, was made aware of the contract between Jack Miller and the Marc VDS Racing Team and also that, under the terms of this contract, Jack Miller would contest the Moto2 World Championship for the Marc VDS Racing Team in 2015 and 2016. The three-year contract was in the form of an extensive pre-agreement, covering the relevant key points such as exclusivity, payment conditions and technical support. Nowhere was there a clause related to early release from the contract should Jack Miller receive an offer for MotoGP in 2015. Following the signing of this pre-agreement a final contract was negotiated and agreed between the parties, with the key elements remaining unchanged. This final agreement was not signed and all requests by the Marc VDS Racing Team for a meeting with Jack Miller, his parents and his management team, to clarify the situation with regard to Jack Miller’s contractual obligations for 2015 and 2016, have gone unanswered.  In the absence of a signed final agreement, the signed pre-agreement remains extant and binding on both parties.

“It is regrettable that we’ve had to make public this situation, but we really were left with no option,” stated Michael Bartholemy, Team Principal of the Marc VDS Racing Team. “We have a contract with Jack Miller and we are already preparing for his arrival in the team for the 2015 season because, for us, a deal is a deal. If Jack has changed his mind and doesn’t want to ride for us next year then he or his management team need to come and talk to us, rather than simply ignoring our numerous requests for a meeting to clarify the situation. We are not interested in playing games; we just want the situation sorted out expeditiously. Until it is resolved we cannot move forward with our own plans for the 2015 season, as we have no intention on reneging on the agreement by offering Jack Miller’s place in the Marc VDS Racing Team to another rider.”

Finally, the Marc VDS Racing Team would like to wish Jack Miller the best of luck with his 2014 Moto3 World Championship campaign.’

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt