Johann Zarco signs with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will welcome the very first Red Bull Rookies Cup winner and current MotoGP star, Johann Zarco, onto the works KTM RC16 for the 2019 and 2020 FIM World Championship seasons.

KTM’s Ready To Race philosophy often means the creation of some special stories from the field of competition. The signature of 27-year-old MotoGP sensation and double Moto2 World Champion (the most successful French rider in the history of Grand Prix racing) Johann Zarco for the next two years fills a standout narrative.

Johann Zarco celebrates Mugello Moto2 victory 2016
Johann Zarco celebrates Mugello Moto2 victory 2016 – Been a while since we saw one of his incredible back-flips

The Cannes-born athlete will return to KTM and the brand with which he made his first impression in the world of motorcycle racing when he claimed the 2007 Red Bull Rookies Cup; the KTM-supported series designed to filter the best young talent through to the world stage.

A young Johann Zarco as a Red Bull Rookie
A young Johann Zarco as a Red Bull Rookie

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing is thrilled to be able to bring Johann back to Orange. He will partner Pol Espargaro on the KTM RC16 for the next two years.

Johann Zarco in 2014
Johann Zarco in 2014

Pit Beirer (KTM Motorsports Director)

“There has always been a good contact with Johann and since the Red Bull Rookies Cup. We supported the Moto2 project through WP and our Moto3 Team Manager Aki Ajo is a good friend of him. We also have a nice connection with his manager Laurent Fellon. 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.”

Zarco got a lift on the back of a KTM at COTA, next time he will be at the controls rather than pillion! - Image by AJRN
Zarco got a lift on the back of a KTM at COTA, next time he will be at the controls rather than pillion! – Image by AJRN

“It is clear that we want to take another step in MotoGP. The first two years were about building up the project and to get everything running. You always want to get the best possible riders on board and it’s obvious with Johann beating the factory guys on satellite machinery and consistently qualifying on the front row means he is a strong fighter with a strong sprit. I’m convinced we can reach the next level with a rider like Johann with us.”

Johann Zarco - Image by AJRN
Johann Zarco – 2016 Moto2 Champion – Image by AJRN

Zarco went on to win and grasp podium success in 125cc (now Moto3) Grands Prix and 15 victories in the Moto2 class where he enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with Red Bull KTM Ajo Team Manager Aki Ajo and WP Suspension technology on the way to his two world championships.

Since coming into the MotoGP category in 2017 – where he gained the accolade of Best Rookie – Zarco has thrilled audiences with his speed, racecraft and attacking prowess.

With 4 trophies and 3 Pole Positions his he has regularly upstaged rivals on factory machinery. His ability and potential marked his name as one of the most sought after for the coming seasons in MotoGP.

The sun sill set on Johann Zarco's time with Tech3 Yamaha at the end of season 2018
The sun sill set on Johann Zarco’s time with Tech3 Yamaha at the end of season 2018


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