Johann Zarco leaves Pramac to join LCR Honda for 2024

Johann Zarco leaves Pramac to join LCR Honda for 2024

Johann Zarco will leave Pramac Racing at the end of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship, opening the door for him to join LCR Honda for 2024 season.

Johann Zarco will switch to LCR Honda for 2024 after Pramac Ducati officially confirmed the French rider’s departure shortly after the Austrian Grand Prix race on Sunday.

The announcement, which was made public soon after Sunday’s Austrian MotoGP race, had been anticipated amid paddock rumors the Frenchman had already reached an agreement to team up with Honda and take the place of Alex Rins, who had switched to Yamaha.

The decision was made despite Zarco becoming one of Ducati’s best-performing riders since joining the Italian manufacturer in 2020 through the independent Avintia Racing squad.

Zarco was promoted to Pramac Racing the following season after a string of impressive results on the machinery from the previous year. Though he has yet to claim the much-desired first MotoGP victory with the Italian team, Zarco has scored 12 podium finishes for the manufacturer since 2021.

Zarco, however, has already found a different deal with Honda rather than waiting for a decision after Ducati threatened to take away his seat by putting Marco Bezzecchi’s seat with the team available by making an offer for him to join next year.

“I’ve spent four years with Ducati, three of them with the Pramac team, and I am very content with what we have built and achieved together,” said Zarco.

“In 2021, I finished the championship in fifth place, marking my best-ever MotoGP result, but my goal is to do even better this year.

“At the end of this season, I will leave with a smile because the team and Ducati have given me so much, and together we have fought for truly significant accomplishments.

“Next year, I will face a new challenge, but for now, I want to conclude this championship with my team in the best way possible.

“I thank my entire team, Ducati, and all the people who have worked alongside me during these years we spent together.

“The ultimate goal remains to stand atop the podium and proudly sing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, together with Paolo Campinoti, whom I sincerely thank for all the support he has given me since day one.”

Following Zarco’s departure, Ducati will have a valuable vacancy to fill for the 2024 MotoGP season, one that may come with the incentive of a GP24 bike built for the 2024 season.

In spite of the fact that Ducati is urging Bezzecchi to accept the Pramac contract in order to guarantee him 2024 equipment for the following year, the Italian has hinted he is willing to continue riding year-old equipment and remain with his preferred VR46 Racing team.

Franco Morbidelli is predicted to be the rider to join the Ducati team. Morbidelli is still without a ride after being dropped by Yamaha, but his chances will be bolstered if a position opens up at VR46 Racing because of his close relationship with Valentino Rossi.

While this is going on, more options may include Tony Arbolino, Jake Dixon, or even Marc Marquez or Alvaro Bautista.

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