After a three-year stint at Pramac Ducati, Johann Zarco will be leaving the team.
Credit: Pierre Philippe Marcou
Zarco has managed to achieve a lot with Pramac Ducati, earning a total of 12 podiums so far with the team. However, after four years riding the Ducati machinery, Zarco is now to join LCR Honda on a two-year deal, replacing Alex Rins, who is replacing Franco Morbidelli at Factory Yamaha in 2024.
Honda has been on somewhat of a decline recently, with Marc Marquez, Joan Mir and Taakaki Nakagami all failing to finish in multiple races this year, with a bike that seems extremely difficult to ride. However, perhaps this is exactly the type of challenge that Zarco is looking for, and a team and bike that he can help develop and recover after a disappointing past couple of years.
Speaking to The Race, Johann Zarco had this to say: "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."
Later, Zarco confirmed with Canal+ that he will be joining LCR Honda in 2024, replacing Alex Rins. Zarco will subsequently have two full seasons to perform at the highest level. Referring to joining LCR Honda as a "project" it seems that Zarco's role will most likely be rebuilding Honda back to where it was before, in a similar way to how Dani Pedrosa has helped shape the current situation at KTM, although he was only doing tests, whereas Zarco will have a full-time race seat.
Being 33 years old, Zarco's contract will conclude when he will be 35 years old, so a lot of people are expecting that this may just end up being his final stage of his career in MotoGP, unless perhaps he is to perform at a level to graduate up to the factory Repsol Honda team in the future, which may perhaps be likely given Joan Mir's extremely disappointing results in 2023.
Well, MotoGP silly season is now in full swing, with other rumours that Marco Bezzecchi could be a favourite for the main Factory Ducati team, potentially replacing Enea Bastianini after a somewhat disappointing season for Bastianini. Valentino Rossi, the team boss of Bezzecchi's current team, Mooney VR46 Racing - has said that he has been pushing for Bezzecchi to stay. But with so many riders shifting around during this summer, it seems as though the MotoGP musical chairs are far from over, so stay tuned for updates on all the racing, and all the rumours, right here.
But what did you make of Johann Zarco's move from Pramac Ducati to LCR Honda? let us know in the comments below!