HRC boss: Jack Miller promotion a ‘big gamble’

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Honda boss Shuhei Nakamoto has admitted his personal mission to get Jack Miller fast tracked into MotoGP in 2015 is a ‘big gamble’.

Aussie Miller is the first rider in over decade to be promoted from the entry-level class to MotoGP having signed a lucrative three-year deal with HRC.

The 19-year-old will ride the new production Honda RC213V-RS in LCR Honda next season, having been handpicked by Nakamoto to make the bold move from a 55bhp Moto3 bike to a 260bhp MotoGP missile.

Several top riders, including Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi, have said they think Miller would have been better off taking the more conventional route through Moto2 first.

But Nakamoto said he chose the Red Bull KTM rider, who finished runner-up to Alex Marquez in this year’s Moto3 world championship, because of a ‘gut feeling’.

Nakamoto told MCN: “I know this is a big gamble and maybe a very stupid idea or a very cool idea. Of course I have been thinking myself that the jump from Moto3 to MotoGP is too big and maybe it is not a good idea and then I think maybe it is possible. I am thinking and I am very worried. But I am crazy enough to do this. But I have a gut feeling about him. Personality doesn’t matter. I never think about that. Speed is the only important thing.”

While being a major driving force behind the ambitious Miller move, Nakamoto said he would not have proceeded had LCR boss Lucio Cecchinello not supported the project.

Nakamoto added: “We were very interested in Jack and we spoke about this idea to Lucio and he said it is a very exciting one. Lucio himself decided to do this and we told him if he wanted to lease the bike, Honda could help. The idea came from Honda and we talked with Lucio and then he decided.”

Miller be joined at LCR by Cal Crutchlow next season, though the British rider will be on a factory RC213V machine.

Miller is currently testing the new RC213V-RS Open bike for the first time at the Sepang track in Malaysia.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt