LCR Honda open to Jack Miller deal for 2015

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Monaco-based Honda MotoGP team boss Lucio Cecchinello says he is open to a deal that could see Aussie Moto3 sensation Jack Miller fast tracked into his LCR squad in 2015.

Speculation is mounting that current Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider Miller, who has won four races in the first half of 2014, has clinched a deal to join Honda in MotoGP next season.

And his most likely destination appears to be Cecchinello’s LCR squad, with Stefan Bradl failing to impress HRC management to be given a new deal on the Factory RC213V machine.

Miller’s brilliant on-track performances this season have caught the eye of Honda and Yamaha management, though HRC has always repeatedly denied giving serious consideration to the 19-year-old bypassing the normal route of going through Moto2 before graduating to MotoGP.

Cecchinello though confirmed during last weekend’s Sachsenring round in Germany that Honda have been in discussions with Miller and his representatives.

The deal is complicated somewhat though by the fact that the Marc VDS Racing squad is adamant it has Miller signed for 2015 and 2016 to race a Kalex machine in Moto2.

Miller has said that deal is not binding and he has made it clear he is not worried about making the massive step from a 55bhp single-cylinder four-stroke Moto3 bike to a fire-breathing 1000cc MotoGP machine that produces close to 280bhp.

Cecchinello told MCN: “I’m aware that some people in HRC wish to have Jack because they believe he represents the future. I know that Jack was approached but honestly I don’t know what the situation is now because it seems he has an existing agreement and I don’t want to be involved in such an unclear deal. Whenever HRC will come to me and say Jack is free and we have him under contract and we wish to bring him here and support the project, we are open. At this moment I have never spoken to Jack or his manager. Before I can talk about riders I wish to fix if we are going to have a two-bike team. It is a dream to have a two-rider team but in the worst case we will have a one rider team with a Factory spec bike.”

Cecchinello has been locked in talks with CWM World, who backed his squad in the recent Dutch TT, about a full-time sponsorship agreement that could help him expand to a two-rider effort next year.

If talks with CWM World are successful, Cecchinello would run one Factory RC213V machine and one production Honda RCV1000R bike.

The RCV1000R will get a significant upgrade for 2015, including a pneumatic valve motor identical in spec to the engine currently being raced by Bradl and Alvaro Bautista.

Cecchinello hinted that if Honda signed Miller and he had the budget to run a two-rider effort, it might be better for Miller to cut his teeth in the premier class on the production bike.

But it seems if Miller does make the big leap into MotoGP straight from Moto3, he will be on the Factory RC213V, while the production bike could be offered to Bradl to keep him in the squad, as has always been Cecchinello’s intention.

Cecchinello added: “If Jack joins MotoGP from Moto3, maybe for the first year it will be better to do it on an Open bike because I think a key point when making such a big jump will be to give him less pressure. He will need a lot of time to adapt to MotoGP and the massive power.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt