KTM racing boss Pit Beirer has admitted he understands Johann Zarco’s decision to quit the factory MotoGP team at the end of the year and said the Frenchman was in tears during a meeting on Saturday night at the Red Bull Ring.
Beirer agreed to let Zarco out of his contract a year early as he is clearly unable to make the RC-16 work, and was roundly beaten by rookie Miguel Oliveira on a satellite version in Austria.
“It wasn’t exactly our own decision. Johann came to me and Mike Leitner on Saturday evening, he wanted an appointment with us,” said Beirer.
We were a bit surprised, because the time was a bit unusual for a short briefing. And there he sat in front of us, really tense and with tears in his eyes, saying that at the moment he can’t handle it anymore and he wants to get out of the contract.
“There wasn’t much room to discuss anything. His decision was so firm and so clear and actually sad. For us the moment was actually super-sad, but it was also our wish to help him to get out of this situation and not to burden him even more.
“As a person and as a guy, how he sat there, it was really cruel to watch. On the other hand it is understandable from a sporting point of view. He sees himself with us in a valley where he can’t get out any more, and now he just wants to realign himself.”