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Jack Miller is in search of new crew chief for 2017 after confirming that start MotoGP crew chief Cristian Gabarrini will be leaving the MarcVDS team at the end of this season.

Ducati is yet to make an official announcement but it is clear that an agreement has been reached for Gabarrini to return to Ducati for 2017 to be crew chief for Jorge Lorenzo.

Options for Miller’s new wingman in 2017 include  Patrick Unger from Germany who was crew chief for Miller at Red Bull KTM in Moto3 in 2014.  

Ducati now has their “dream team” in place with triple world champion Lorenzo as rider, twice world champion Casey Stoner as test rider and the highly regarded Gabarrini as crew chief.

Gabarrini was crew chief for both of Stoner’s world titles, the first at Ducati (2007) and then at Repsol Honda (2011). At Ducati and Honda Stoner won 38 MotoGP races with Gabarrini as crew chief. 

Since joining MotoGP at the beginning of 2015  Miller had formed a close bond with Gabarrini who was installed by Honda to guide Miller’s transition to MotoGP.

“Cristian is leaving the team at the end of the season and it is a real shame and he told me he is sad to be leaving us,” Miller said.

“He had a good offer to stay with us but obviously a good offer to go to another team so he couldn’t really say no.

“We are talking to a few guys and have made contact with Patrick Unger my crew chief at KTM in Moto3 when I was second in the championship.

“We had a great year together and he retired to start a family when I left Moto3 but it would good to get him back.”

Miller said that Gabarrini has had a huge influence on his career since he joined MotoGP after making the big jump direct from Moto3. 

“Cristian has been an amazing influence both on my riding and my lifestyle, he has been really, really good for me,” Miller said.

“It is an emotional moment because we had such a good bond and worked together really well. 

“Cristian’s strong point is he understands how a bike works and knows the feeling of what is going on from the riders point view.

“That is what I will miss the most  but I hope he enjoys his future over with the #99 (Jorge Lorenzo) crew.”

Gabarrini has a degree in mechanical engineering and has been a HRC staff engineer since he joined Honda to work with Stoner in 2011. 

Stoner and Gabarrini won 23 MotoGP races together at Ducati between 2007 and 2010.

Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti said while he was not in a position confirm that Gabarrini would rejoin Ducati he noted the potential appeal of such an outcome.

“We respect Cristian very much and we have been talking with him about our plans for next year,” Ciabatti said.

“If a role for Cristian is confirmed at Ducati in 2017 when Jorge joins us  then it is potentially an excellent combination of a very experienced race engineer with recent Ducati experience who has worked with our test rider Casey Stoner.  In theory this could  form a very strong group for us.”