Zarco's KTM plight reminds Rossi of his Ducati MotoGP misery

Valentino Rossi says he can sympathise with Johann Zarco's decision to quit KTM after one MotoGP season, as the situation reminds him of his own struggles at Ducati

Zarco's KTM plight reminds Rossi of his Ducati MotoGP misery

Zarco shocked the paddock when KTM announced an early end to his two-year contract in the wake of the recent Austrian Grand Prix, a move that will almost certainly leave him without a place on the MotoGP grid in 2020.

Rossi was asked to compare the ex-Tech3 rider's situation with his own experience at Ducati, where the seven-time premier class champion had a largely miserable two-year stint in 2011-12 before rejoining Yamaha and returning to winning ways in 2013.

"I felt a bit similar when I was with Ducati, because I had a lot of expectation from outside but especially from me, from me and from Ducati, to try to be competitive and try to win," recalled Rossi.

"But unfortunately I didn't have a very good feeling with the bike, especially with the front - maybe similar also compared to with Zarco.

"And I know when you are in that situation it's very difficult because you lose the motivation and you also lose the happiness to start the race, thinking positively that you can do well - you already start in a negative way.

"And it's difficult, especially if you don't have fun riding the bike - everything becomes more heavy: the travels, staying outside of your house, or speaking with journalists, everything - [it's] difficult to sleep also. You go into a tunnel.

"A lot of the time I thought about stopping when I was with Ducati, but at the end for me it was a good decision to not give up, also because if you stop, you don't have another bike to race, it's very easy that you go out of the business."

Zarco's decision to quit KTM mirrors Cal Crutchlow leaving Ducati at the end of 2014 with a year still to run on his contract, although with the obvious difference that the Briton "had another offer on the table" and could join his current employer LCR Honda.

Crutchlow said of Zarco: "He's obviously in a bad place in his racing career. We know how talented he is, he's been on the podium and he's a very, very fast rider. He's been a world champion.

"So, to leave with no job to go to, he's obviously in a desperate situation and hopefully he can find something that he enjoys - because coming to races, trying your best, not going fast and not enjoying it... it's his job, his life, I can understand that as well.

"Sometimes, if you don't enjoy it, if you're doing the whole year like that, it's going to be a hard year.

"Hopefully he can find something soon and is able to come back."

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