KTM join Movistar Yamaha in being the next team to confirm their 2019 and 2020 rider line up, as Zarco joins Espargaro for the next 2 seasons refusing an offer at Repsol Honda as Marc Marquez’s team mate.
After weeks of speculation on what Zarco would do for the next couple of seasons today it came out that not only did he accept the RedBull KTM Factory seat for the next 2 seasons, but he refused an offer from Repsol Honda to partner Marc Marquez.
When asked in the press conference today why he opted for KTM over the Repsol Honda seat the Frenchman answered; “It’s true that with Honda it can be a very nice opportunity, and what I like with KTM is that we’re inside Europe and if we can do good things, it will be just fantastic. And also, being the teammate of Marc, if I want to be as strong as him, it’ll be a lot of work. If I am strong like him as a teammate, I think I can also be very fast with the KTM.”
The Tech 3 rider continued to talk about how he wants to see how he would fair on the KTM saying; “I need to improve my riding style. I need a bike. If you put Marc on the KTM, what could the KTM be? That’s what people want to know. I’m not saying I’m as good as Marc, but I want to know where I can be and on the KTM.”
Pit Beirer – KTM Motorsports Director said: “It was a group effort to get this done. We had to trust in our capability to build a winning bike and Johann would not come over if he did not see and feel that trust.”
“We feel very responsible now to get that package strong enough so that he can continue on the level where he is. It is our big target.”
With 7 factory seats still available it remains to be seen who will end up where, with Dovizioso refusing Ducati’s first offer and Jorge Lorenzo being rumoured with a move to Suzuki with British Media MCN saying that the Spaniard will not continue with Ducati beyond 2018.
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Feature Image Credit: Motogp.com Riders Gallery