Homecoming king

Riding in on a black-and-yellow clad steed, the striking scene of Jack Miller arriving at The Bend was hard to miss.

The 27-year-old ventured to South Australia once again to take part in the finale of the 2022 Australian Superbike Championship after a hard-raced season in MotoGP.

The weekend was filled with thrills and spills, but it was Jack’s specially designed CAT bike that drew plenty of attention.

The Ducati Panigale V4 S set itself apart with its unique CAT decals that had it looking suitable for both the racetrack and the work yard.

“It’s awesome to have this sort of freedom and play around a bit with the bike, the leathers and what not to really make it how you want to envision it,” Jack said. “We dipped our feet in the water last year a little bit, and this year it’s come up tops.

“It’s nice to be able to have that freedom to make it look cool, that’s a big part of it. It’s also about being proud of it too.”

One of a kind

For Caterpillar® Marketing Manager Cameron Balzat, having the multi-year partnership with Jack take another step further was fantastic to see.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase Caterpillar to our customers in a very different way,” Cameron said. “We know most of our customers are machinery enthusiasts for one thing, but being enthusiasts, that translates over to motorsports in any form.”

Jack’s ride for the Superbikes was well and truly one of a kind. The bike rocks a hexagonal grill mesh detailing and a colour palette akin to other CAT machinery. It even sports ‘JM43T’ – Jack’s team and number in the make/model design you’d find on other CAT machinery. It’s practically part of the fleet, except it can go about 200kph faster.

“When we designed that bike in conjunction with Jack’s team, we wanted it to represent a CAT machine on the track,” Cameron said. “Obviously, we don’t make two-wheeled bikes, but we wanted it to look like it came from our CAT factories, so to speak, even down to Cat Bolt-head decals to complete the impression of a CAT machine.”

Two-way fandom

Having been raised in rugged North Queensland, Jack’s passion for CAT machinery has been longstanding and led him to enquiring about buying some earthmovers for his property near Townsville.

“Jack came to us wanting to buy a tractor,” Cameron said. “That started the discussions, and he ended up buying a D3 dozer.

“He’s got that working on his property up at Townsville…a year later he bought a second CAT machine, a 259D3 Compact Track Loader.”

When he’s not dominating the track for MotoGP or Superbikes, Jack’s roaming his land aboard his CAT machines.

“I love having those machines there. If we do need to make some drastic changes then we get out the D3 and push around some serious dirt,” Jack added. “It’s awesome to have that CAT machinery there to work with at home, it’s something I’ve dreamed of.

“It’s pretty hot up there, so that aircon definitely comes in handy.”

Anything but your typical sponsorship deal, Cameron said the connection made the partnership all the more deeper and translated well in the pits and on the track.

“It’s not just Jack representing CAT. He owns our machines and he loves what they and his CAT dealer, Hastings Deering, do for him,” he said. “We feel that’s a great connection with our customers. You can’t fake that level of passion.

“It’s not always easy to get that connection with racers who go around the world. MotoGP is a massive event in its own right.”

Back amongst it

A weekend of re-connecting was more important than any podium finishes for Jack.

The charismatic speedster spent much of the weekend chatting with his Superbike co-riders as well as hundreds of fans, young and old.

During the weekend’s finale, Jack joined the top-three finishers for the race in the winner’s circle to do some cheer-rousing burnouts on his bike.

Prior to that, he did a leisurely lap around The Bend to soak it all in and chuck a wave or two at the many spectators who came out to see him.

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