Johann Zarco announces that he will leave KTM at the end of the 2019 MotoGP season.
The announcement was made on his Facebook after the Austrian GP weekend.
There’s no news where he will go since all seats in MotoGP are taken.
The Austrian GP weekend has been full of bombshells, and now Johann Zarco announced that he will leave KTM in 2020.
Zarco made the announcement through his Facebook account. The decision was made after discussions with KTM at the Red Bull Ring, considered to be the factory’s home race.
Although it’s well-known that the two-time Moto2 champion has been struggling the whole season on the KTM RC16, it was still a great surprise to see him leave with such haste, as there is no opening in MotoGP next year. But he must’ve been contemplating on leaving for some time.
Zarco had high-profile falling out with the team since Jerez earlier this year. He was caught calling the bike’s chassis and suspension “sh*t” on “live” TV after returning from a crash. He also had scathing words for the bike during an interview, which prompted a public reprimand from KTM’s CEO Stefan Pierer.
Perhaps all these started when Jorge Lorenzo bandied himself for a return to Ducati, at Jack Miller’s expense in the Pramac Ducati squad. KTM stood by to offer Miller a contract should he lose his Pramac seat. That would mean KTM will remove Zarco.
Then Lorenzo turned around and spoke to Repsol Honda boss Alberto Puig that he will continue with his contract through 2020. Consequently, Miller’s place in Pramac was also confirmed.
Now KTM has a vacant slot for next year. Pol Espargaro will continue with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team, while Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder will ride for the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 Racing Team.
Only time will tell who KTM will pick and Zarco’s future.