Zarco to exit KTM a year early

Johann Zarco pic: MotoGP.com

Johann Zarco will leave KTM with a year remaining on his contract after a poor start to his first season with the Austrian marque.

The Frenchman signed on for 2019 and 2020 with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing after qualifying on pole four times and finishing on the podium six times in his first two years in MotoGP, with then-Yamaha satellite squad Tech3.

However, Zarco has just one top 10 to his name after 11 races so far this year and sits 17th in the championship with 22 points, six positions and 39 points behind team-mate Pol Espargaro.

“Johann Zarco and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing have announced they will split at the end of the current campaign,” read a team statement.

“The 29-year-old joined KTM towards the end of 2018 after a successful two years in MotoGP.

“Zarco tried to adapt his riding style to the KTM RC16 and both he and the team tried relentlessly to mould the number 5 machine to a competitive package for the Frenchman.

“Ultimately both Zarco and the team decided not to proceed with their joint project for 2020 and will now focus on giving the maximum for the final eight rounds and remaining months of MotoGP 2019.”

There is no word yet on who will replace the two-time Moto2 world champion.

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