Australian Jack Miller will ride for Ducati next year, the Italian MotoGP manufacturer announced on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old has been rewarded for his performances in Ducati’s satellite outfit Pramac Racing, finishing eighth last season with five podiums.
He is the third Aussie to ride for Ducati after Troy Bayliss and Casey Stoner, who won the world title for them in 2007.
In an official statement, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said: “Since he arrived in the Pramac Racing Team, Jack has grown steadily, proving himself one of the fastest and most talented riders in the championship.
“We are convinced that Jack has all the right skills to fight continuously for the positions that matter, in every race.”
Miller made his MotoGP debut aged 20 in 2015, joining Ducati’s feeder team Pramac in 2018.
He thanked Ducati for the confidence they had shown in him, adding: “It is an honour for me to be able to continue my MotoGP career with the Borgo Panigale manufacturer.
“I look forward to starting riding again this year, and I am ready to fully commit to the responsibility of being an official Ducati rider in 2021.”
Miller has the option to extend his contract into the 2022 season.
He will replace either Andrea Dovizioso or Danilo Petrucci.
The first 11 rounds of this year’s championship due to have got under way in Qatar on March 15 have been either cancelled or postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
MotoGP promoters Dorna have made a proposal to the Spanish government to stage back-to-back races at Jerez in Spain in July.
The first, on July 19, would be the new season-opener for MotoGP.
Dorna’s CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta this month indicated that the opening legs of the championship would most likely be held without spectators.
KTM were the first team to begin testing ahead of an eventual resumption of the season with the first of two days at Austria’s Red Bull Ring circuit on Wednesday.
KTM rider Pol Espargaro and test rider Dani Petrosa were on board for the private session.
In contrast to the powerful factory teams like Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha, the KTM team and Aprilia have the right to some days of private testing during the season.