Zarco feared ‘failing my career’ by staying with KTM

Johann Zarco felt that continuing with KTM for the 2020 MotoGP season without any improvements would have meant that he “failed his career”, which is why he preferred leaving the team.

In a shock decision, Zarco decided to end his contract with the factory KTM team one year early, deciding to not stay with the Austrian squad for 2020.

The ex-Tech 3 Yamaha rider has struggled to adapt to the KTM in his first 11 races with the RC16 bike this year as he currently sits 17th in the championship.

Zarco said that if he chose to continue with KTM in 2020 but without getting better results, he would only be doing so for the money.

When asked if he failed his project with KTM, Zarco said: “Can be, maybe yes. But the feeling was if I continue also for next year and I cannot have a better result, I not only failed the project but failed also my career.

“That was my biggest scare, that is why I prefer, give me the opportunity to do something else for next year than wait one more year.

“I say to KTM, being honest, if I accept to finish 15th [every race], just to do the job, it means I will ride only for your money. I don’t want to do that. Maybe later, in 10 years, but not right now.

“I was speaking with my people around me, Jean-Michel [Bayle, rider coach] too, but everyone say we cannot choose for you.

“For sure if you think about it logically, you have a choice [between] nothing, or a choice to continue in MotoGP next year, having a good salary. Which one do you choose?

“Logically you choose, okay, I don’t have any choice, I continue in MotoGP. But I was feeling bad so I say no, I cannot, it is not the way I want to race.”

Zarco insisted that he will continue to give his best for the rest of the season.

Having added that he had a “handbrake inside me” in recent races, he is hopeful that he can ride more freely now.

“On the MotoGP bike you cannot go halfway, you have to give everything or if not, you don’t go on the bike,” he said.

“It is my way and I was giving everything also from the beginning of the year since now. But the last races, I was giving everything but with handbrake inside me. Let’s see now if I release this handbrake.

“Me, as a professional guy, I will give the best and if I want to be well on the bike, I will give the best, it is my nature.

“The work I’m gonna do for the next races until Valencia will be very clear and simple because it will be the best work I can [do].”

Additional reporting by Lewis Duncan

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