Zarco: MotoGP test rider role wouldn't end my career

Johann Zarco says he has no fears he could get stuck in a MotoGP test role for multiple seasons, after hinting he is leaning towards that over a Moto2 return

Zarco: MotoGP test rider role wouldn't end my career

Last month, KTM rider Zarco opted to terminate his two-year deal with the Austrian manufacturer one season early, leaving him without a place on the MotoGP grid in 2020.

The Frenchman initially suggested that returning to Moto2, where he won back-to-back titles in 2015-16, could be an option for him, but at Silverstone he said a test role in MotoGP would be more attractive, with rides in the intermediate class filling up quickly.

All six manufacturers in MotoGP now have European-based test teams, and most field their test riders in several races during the year.

When it was put to him by Autosport that no rider in recent times has progressed from a test ride to a full race seat, Zarco highlighted his situation is different to other riders that have taken such roles recently, such as Honda's Stefan Bradl or Suzuki's Sylvain Guintoli.

"I think for a factory, my situation can be interesting, because if I become a test rider it's not because I'm retiring," he said.

"I was not feeling good and I want to come back stronger, to give myself a chance with a competitive bike.

"It means if I start to test, I will push like I want to win a race, and that can be sometimes not the best way to develop a bike and test many things.

"But to push the bike to another limit, that can be interesting for some factories.

"The target if I do that is to do a good job, make many laps, and I think a test rider has the opportunity to ride a lot; we see this year some test riders are doing many wildcards.

"If I trust in myself, I take always the opportunity of a wildcard, like a last chance, this situation can push the human to be fast."

Rumours that Zarco could be joining Honda's World Superbike project circulated earlier this year, but the Frenchman swiftly dismissed that prospect as "bullshit".

Despite his chance in circumstances since those reports first surfaced, he again refuted suggestions he is WSBK-bound next season.

"That was real bulls*** at the beginning of the year, and [it is] even now," said Zarco.

"The journalist that put it at the beginning of the year put it now to be more credible.

"But no, for sure I have not spoken [to Honda] yet, because the target is MotoGP at the moment."

Alvaro Bautista is set to be announced as a Honda rider for the 2020 WSBK campaign after splitting with Ducati, with former MotoGP rider Scott Redding stepping up from British Superbikes to take his place.

shares
comments
Suzuki's creative masterplan to topple Marquez

Previous article

Suzuki's creative masterplan to topple Marquez

Next article

MotoGP rider Morbidelli joins Sepang enduro field at WTCR joint event

MotoGP rider Morbidelli joins Sepang enduro field at WTCR joint event
Load comments
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Plus

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Plus

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Plus

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the circuit's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How MotoGP's record smasher is facing his toughest challenge Plus

How MotoGP's record smasher is facing his toughest challenge

The 2020 MotoGP season was an utterly enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if thought it the world championship was a poorer place without its biggest star Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021