News 25 Oct 2019
LCR Honda fill-in Zarco hopeful of keeping racing career alive
Three-race opportunity could lead to a term in Moto2 next season.
LCR Honda Idemitsu fill-in rider Johann Zarco will take an open mind into today’s opening practices at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, eager to keep his racing career alive as the replacement rider for Takaaki Nakagami.
Zarco parted ways with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing mid-season and was linked to a Yamaha testing role, however, he’s since committed to finishing out 2019 with the factory-supported LCR organisation aboard an RC213V.
“I’m very happy,” Zarco commented. “It’s difficult to fix a target, but I want to clear up all the feelings I got this year, because I had a great first two years in MotoGP. This year has been really complicated – it looked like the MotoGP story was finished.
“But then Lucio [Cecchinello] called me to catch the opportunity to ride in these three races and yes, I’m catching it because it’s maybe my last three races. I took a big risk this summer quitting my contract for 2020, but I realised that racing is what I want to do. So now I have a short future, but I can live it with a lot of intensity.”
With his mind set on a full-time return to racing next season, rather than taking up a test rider contract, Zarco could potentially step back to Moto2 for a year prior to 2021 when the majority of premier class riders are off-contract again. It has also been suggested he could possibly replace Jorge Lorenzo at Repsol Honda, despite the latter being contracted through 2020.