MotoGP exile Johann Zarco has been confirmed as Taka Nakagami’s replacement for the remainder of the MotoGP season when the Japanese rider goes for shoulder surgery after this weekend’s Motegi round.
Zarco split with the KTM squad some weeks ago but boss Pit Beirer gave the Frenchman leeway to test and race for other manufacturers, and he will complete the 2019 season alongside Cal Crutchlow, starting at Phillip Island.
“What an opportunity to have the last few races of the season on the LCR Honda Idemitsu bike. I’m really thankful to have this chance, and I will do my best to pick up some good results and to enjoy the time, because these could be the last three races I can do for a while,” said Zarco.
“I would like to thank KTM for releasing me so that I can do these races on another bike. Let’s see what I can do. First of all I know that I will enjoy the Phillip Island track, it’s a fast circuit and I think the feeling could be good.
“We’ll cross our fingers that it can be, and we will see what is possible. The target is to ride at a good pace, and rediscover some of the good feeling I’ve had before.”
What Zarco will make of the RC213V after being unable to tame a slightly less-wild RC16 is anyone’s guess.