With MotoGP silly season kicking off in earnest, leaving all twelve of the factory seats for the 2017 season decided by July, it now appears to be the turn of rider crew chiefs.
In the wake of the surprising news that Scott Redding’s current right hand man Giacomo Guidotti will move from Pramac to work alongside Dani Pedrosa in Repsol Honda, it is believed 30-year old Pedrosa’s crew chief Ramon Aurin will appear in the Marc VDS garage in 2017.
It is there that he will partner Jack Miller – contracted to HRC – for the Australian’s third season in the premier class.
“I don’t know if I’m allowed to announce it yet,” smiled Miller when asked at San Marino whether Aurin would be moving to his garage.
“I mean, he’s good. He’s been in Honda for a long time. He’s a good guy. It will be interesting if we get to work with him. I definitely wouldn’t mind working with him if it comes to that but we don’t know yet,” said Miller on Friday.
Having gained indispensible experience under the wing of famed engineer Antonio Cobas in the early 1990s, Aurin joined Repsol Honda in 2006, American Nicky Hayden’s world championship year.
The Spaniard began working with Pedrosa in 2012, and stepped up to the role of crew chief three years later, after Mike Leitner had departed.
Miller has been on the lookout for a new member of the Marc VDS squad after understanding that current crew chief Cristian Gabarrini would be leaving to join Jorge Lorenzo at Ducati.
In August, Miller told Crash.net Patrick Unger, a technician with whom he worked in Aki Ajo’s Moto3 KTM team in 2014, was one of several names on his radar.
“Patrick Unger worked with me [in Moto3]. I know we’ve been in contact. He retired after we worked together to have a kid. We’re trying to get him out of retirement to come back because we had a great year together. We’re trying to see what we can do there,” said the Australian in Austria.
Yet it is believed that upon learning of Pedrosa’s desire for a change of personnel, HRC was keen to ensure Aurin remained with the factory in some capacity.
Extracting the most from Miller, who has shown supreme flashes of talent – notably at Assen and the Sachsenring – in 2017, will be necessary as the Australian approaches the end of his current three-year deal.