2017 MotoGP Rider Lineup
The Frenchman Johann Zarco joined the Moto2 class in 2012, and initially struggled, finishing 10th in 2012, ninth in 2013 and sixth in 2014.
But when he switched to the Kalex bike in 2015, everything changed; Zarco finished on the podium 14 times that season, which included eight wins. That year he earned his debut Grand Prix title, and after eight rounds so far in 2016, he’s leading the points battle.
Talent doesn’t go unnoticed; for 2017, the 25-year-old joins the premier MotoGP class with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 squad. Zarco joins current Moto2 rival Jonas Folger for a brand new lineup in 2017. Zarco’s first ride on the YZR-M1 will arrive at the traditional post-season test in Valencia.
To date, in his Moto2 career Zarco has earned 25 podiums, including 11 wins, and nine pole positions. Zarco has signed with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team through 2017, with an opportunity to extend that contract another year.
Johann Zarco says: ”It goes without saying that I am very happy to join the MotoGP class with Tech3 and I am confident that we can form a solid partnership. The team has a deep relationship and long history with Yamaha and they have proved that they can manage well in every situation and have had a good package year after year.
“This pleases me and it gives me extra motivation for reaching my targets in the 2017 season. Of course, it seems like a logical step for a French team and a French champion to work together, and now finally the deal is done which is certainly positive news. I really will do my best and prepare myself for the maximum because I think it’s more than possible to get some top results in MotoGP after my long experience in the intermediate class.”
Herve Poncharal (Team Manager) says: “After the long wait, I am delighted to announce that Johann Zarco will join the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team for next year. We haven’t had the chance to work with a French rider in our MotoGP team since Sylvain Guintoli in 2007 but I am certain that Johann will do a great job. We have been following him closely since he won the rookies cup and he has gone on to have further success in the 125cc class and Moto2. Last season was incredible for him and he won the championship in a masterful way.
“For me, Johann joining the team is a big and exciting challenge and he will be working with Guy Coulon’s side of the garage. We are very confident of this relationship being strong, as we already know that Johann and Guy will have a lot of similar points of view. In addition, I have to mention Laurent Fellon, his coach, friend and someone who has been on Johann’s side since the beginning of his career. The two of them have brought a new way of working to the sport and their efforts over the years will pay off and I cannot wait to see what he can do on our bike.
“The best pages of the Tech3 history book have been written by French riders and include Olivier Jacque, who won the 250cc title, with Dominique Sarron, Jean-Philippe Ruggia and Sylvain Guintoli all achieving success as well, so I am sure Johann can add to this list. I want to give him a really warm welcome and we can’t wait to see him on the bike after.”