KTM wants Johann Zarco on his factory team for 2019. This has been confirmed by Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM, in an interview offered to Speedweek during the last GP of Valencia, where the head of the Austrian brand also has revealed important details about the arrival of a satellite team to MotoGP with factory support from Mattighofen from 2019.
“When I look at the classification, I can not think of anyone else except Zarco, being honest,” says Stefan Pierer. “He won the Moto2 World Championship two years with Aki Ajo and he also won the Red Bull Rookies with a KTM, so he knows KTM if you asked me, I would say: He is the only MotoGP rider I am seriously considering for 2019.”
The arrival of Johan Zarco to KTM in 2019 would imply, as is logical, the departure of one of its two current riders, and it seems that it would be Bradley Smith who would have to vacate his seat if Zarco ends up wearing orange in two years.
The Briton has not been able to harvest more than 29 points this year at the controls of the KTM RC16 against the 55 points of Pol Espargaró; who in the last races has taken a very important step forward against the stagnation of the Briton.
“I have the clear intention of keeping Pol Espargaró in 2019. I say that with sincerity, he has earned it and he also fits very well in our team,” said Pierer.
KTM wants Johann Zarco for 2019 Season
A few months ago, the rumor arose that KTM could be considered a millionaire offer to take over the services of Marc Márquez in the future. What is true about that? “I’ll be honest: Marc Márquez is a unique talent, he plays in his own league,” admits Pierre, who is also clear that a rider of his talent could be a problem in KTM: “If he wins, it’s for Marquez, and if he loses the blame it would be our motorcycle, and it would be counterproductive to our junior program, which we have meticulously created.”
And he gives an example to Ducati and Jorge Lorenzo: “Look Ducati, I sincerely envy the success of Dovi, he’s a nice person, and he’s found the right way, the other [Lorenzo] earns 12.5 million euros. well in KTM. “
Speaking of Moto2, the successes that Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder have achieved this in their first season on the KTM-Moto2 (with three victories of Portuguese and a 3rd place in the general) have earned them both a place in MotoGP Starting from 2019.
But not with the factory team: “Now we have a successful Moto2 team with Oliveira and Binder, these two riders are capable of being in MotoGP in 2019. In the long term, Brad Binder will also be a top rider in MotoGP It’s a braking god, I convinced myself last Saturday in Valencia, on the circuit, I do not want to invest so much money in a rider like Márquez and block a MotoGP seat for our young riders, if you win the Moto2 World Championship with KTM in 2018, then you will be in MotoGP in 2019. But that can also be with a satellite team. ”
Although it is still early to talk about 2019, everything points out that Marc VDS Racing will be the team chosen by KTM to supply two MotoGP satellites, with almost factory status: “We will support a satellite team in 2019.
We will give them the same material as our factory bikes, we will not give them motorcycles from previous years, we want to use the satellite equipment of 2019 with our junior team, we can place the Moto2 riders and gain experience, Oliveira, and Binder, that’s the idea. Every Moto2 rider needs at least a year or two to accumulate MotoGP experience. “