Former world champion Wayne Gardner believes that Jack Miller is finally starting to fulfil his potential in MotoGP.
Miller achieved his third podium of the season in the weekend's Michelin Grand Prix of Aragon with a measured performance in which he passed Maverick Viñales for third at the start of the final lap.
In his fifth year in the premier class, to which he stepped up directly from Moto3, Miller is eighth in the championship.
He is therefore likely to beat his previous best season result, given Pol Espargaro currently sits 40 points behind in the Australian's high watermark position of 11th in the 2017 standings.
“He's been in MotoGP now for four, five years. It's a hard class. It's tough and you need experience,” said Gardner the 1987 500cc motorcycle world champion.
“So, he's now got that behind him. You're starting to see the potential in Jack. Jack is a very talented rider.
“I think he struggled a little bit with focus in the past, but it looks like he's got it together there last year and especially this year.
“Jack is a future winner, there's no doubt. Great rider.”
Gardner, who remains close to the grand prix paddock given his son Remy competes in Moto2, also thinks that Miller is a serious prospect come his home race next month at Phillip Island.
“He's a great role model. He's a character – we all love Jack to death,” added Gardner.
“Remy and Jack are good mates. Jack is always around the place being the Aussie boy – he's great for MotoGP and I think that he'll have a chance of winning at Phillip Island.”
The Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix takes place on October 25-27.