Ducati MotoGP rider Jack Miller explains why Ducati is “a mega company”
If you subscribe to Malcolm Gladwell’s idea that it takes 10,000 hours to truly master a complex skill set, then Ducati MotoGP rider Jack Miller took a serious head start when he took his first ride in motorcycle at the age of 3.
This early exposure led to an early passion for two-wheeled motorized devices. And this passion, combined with supportive parents and a laser focus on constantly perfecting his profession, allowed Jack Miller to make his first MotoGP lap at age 20. At 23, he joined Pramac Racing, a team backed by the Ducati factory, and last year, at 26, Jack became an official Ducati rider for the 2021 MotoGP season. You can see his next race in Austin, Texas on October 3rd.
We recently chatted with Jack Miller about why he became a motorcycle rider, how he trains between races, winning that matters most and what Ducati stands for in the hyper-intense racing arena. MotoGP.
What’s the best part about being a motorcycle racer?
I’ve always been drawn to motorcycles. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was about 3, in fact I wasn’t quite 3, and there was just something about it. Any luck I had as a kid, that’s all I wanted to do. Thank goodness I grew up on a farm and was able to literally sneak out of the house, jump on my bike and disappear. It just gave me a feeling of freedom.
And when you’re a kid, you don’t really think about growing up and becoming an adult and getting a job. But thanks to the help of my parents who pushed me a little harder, they saw how much I loved the sport and said, “Hey you gotta get comfortable and go for this “because they obviously saw more in me than I did at the time. on time, and they figured out you can make it work. I look back on that time and think, thank goodness they did it because I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I am able to do this and have been a professional for almost 10 years now, and it has been a fantastic job, taking me to places in the world I never thought I would go. All this from riding a motorcycle. This is the only thing that I remembered naturally. I can’t kick a ball or throw a ball that well. I think it was just meant to be.
When did you know you wanted to race motorcycles?
As a child, as soon as I started riding I had an older brother and I was running and beating him already. And I wanted to find someone to run but we had no idea what motorcycle racing was like, so dad ended up figuring out how to get in there, and it started like that. I just wanted to go biking with other kids who liked to ride bikes. I grew up riding motocross and always wanted to be a pro, but when I was a kid it was kind of a dream. You understand that it is so far from being a reality.
You couldn’t really script it. It all happened so naturally, nothing was ever forced. We were just finding our way, because we had no idea where we were going with it, really. You just need to have the dedication, to be able to do something and to focus, and to know that you have to work for it and that things are not easy. Besides, I don’t like to lose. Whether it’s Monopoly or whatever, I don’t like to lose. I’m one of those guys who, if I can’t win, I’ll find a way to figure out what to do.
How do you train to stay on top of your game?
I used to do a lot of running, but I discovered cycling about 5-6 years ago, and put in quite a few hours of it throughout the week. In between that and riding various other motorcycles, whether I’m riding a motocross track or those smaller road bikes, because we can’t ride a MotoGP motorcycle all week. We are lucky with Ducati to have the Panigale V4S, and it has been an incredible tool for us to train. About as close to a MotoGP motorcycle as you can get, and that helps a lot. The most important thing is the cardio and the weight so the bikes have been a great tool for me.
What’s the most rewarding victory of your career so far?
The most rewarding victory is expected to come this year in dry Jerez. Something I’ve worked so many hours, countless hours, to get there. And through so many ups and downs – injuries, that sort of thing. And I did some kind of unconventional things where I went straight from Moto3 to MotoGP, and I had a lot of doubts, a lot of people rejected me. I had a win before that, but it was in the wet, and it’s still a win, it’s on my CV, but there’s still a question mark. There was no question mark that day. All the boys were there – I was the best man on the right track, and after that the flood of emotions passed through you. All the ups and downs, when you wanted to give up, you forget them all and you know “we made it”.
What defines the Ducati motorcycle experience?
More than anything, he has a sense of class. The prestige of it. It’s Ducati. Everyone knows what Ducati is. When people think of the bike to ride, or the fastest, they think of Ducati. It is elegance. That is the class. Creme de la Creme – they don’t skimp on anything, everything is top of the line. And it’s just a phenomenal experience, whether you’re talking about Panigale or MotoGP motorcycles. And it was such an honor this year, and something I always dreamed of was to have this red leather suit. Just being able to hang it up in my house and say “Hey, I was a Ducati factory rider”. You don’t even think about that sort of thing because it feels so out of touch. But being a part of this brand is just awesome.
And Ducatis sounds so different. With the Desmo system, this creates a completely different bark. And especially now with the V4 you know a Ducati compared to any other motorcycle. And you can hear it, it’s aggressive and one of those things, like when a Ferrari starts up. There’s just something about it that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. The sound. The story. It is a mega company to be associated with.