In light of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s announcement that Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will join them at the end of this season, the Frenchman joined Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha Team), Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) in the Gran Premio Red Bull de España pre-event Press Conference, to discuss the reasons behind his move.
“I’m happy we announced it this weekend and it’ll be a great challenge for the future,” opened the double Moto2™ World Champion. “A European constructor with a European rider, I think if we got a great result and we develop the bike well, we can have a fantastic future.”
Zarco continued, indicating he joined the Austrian factory because of the challenge he’ll face trying to get the KTM machine to the front. “The way they were developing the bike last year makes me think something is possible. I went there because I want the challenge. I’m on a great wave and I’m enjoying it so much. The performance is good too and I hope we can stay on this level in the next two years.”
The number 5 was asked before the Press Conference why he chose KTM over a move to Repsol Honda, the other team Zarco was heavily rumored to be in talks with. "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."
In the Press Conference, Zarco indicated how curious he was to find out how far he and KTM can go. “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.”
The combination of Zarco and KTM is an exciting prospect for sure, but in the meantime, the 27-year-old’s attention turns to this weekend. Is his first MotoGP™ win going to come in Jerez?