Yesterday was advanced by Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM, and today it is the Austrian factory itself which, through a statement, has confirmed that Johann Zarco will leave the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing at the end of the year. The text sent by the orange brand to the media about the rupture of the French rider’s contract reads as follows:
“Johann Zarco and the Red Bull KTM will not complete the second season of the agreement for two years that they both had until 2020. The former Moto2 world champion and the factory team have mutually decided to end their contract at the end of the campaign 2019.
The 29-year-old rider joined KTM at the end of 2018 after completing his second season at MotoGP and for the first time received full factory support. Zarco tried to adapt his riding style to the KTM RC16 and the team has tried to tirelessly mold machine number 5 to the wishes and requests of the Frenchman while his teammate Pol Espargaro made regular appearances in Q2 and constantly fought for positions of top 10.
Finally, both Johann and the team have decided not to continue with their contract until 2020 and will now focus on giving their maximum in the final eight rounds and the last months of MotoGP 2019 “.
Completed the first 11 races of 2019, Johann Zarco has only been able to score 22 points, achieving in the Grand Prix of Catalonia his best result with a tenth place. His teammate, Pol Espargaró has almost triple the points of the French driver (61p), while the Portuguese Tech 3 KTM debutant Miguel Oliveira also marches ahead of Zarco with 26 points.
The departure of the Cannes rider at the end of the season leaves a factory seat in MotoGP by surprise. Rumors talk that KTM would be testing men like Alex Márquez or Remy Gardner to get on the seat that the Frenchman will free. The Austrian factory also contacted Jack Miller to learn about his intentions, but the Australian rider prefers the PRAMAC project with a Ducati GP20 and official material.
With regard to the future of Johann Zarco, the fate of the 29-year-old is a mystery. To this day, and except for surprise, the Frenchman does not have factory seats available for 2020, and the rest of the satellite teams already has everything closed except for PRAMAC, which will confirm Miller’s continuity in a few days.