KTM: Replacing Zarco was necessary for crew morale

KTM motorsport boss Pit Beirer said the decision to accelerate Johann Zarco's exit from its MotoGP project was made to protect the crew from the Frenchman's negative outlook.

KTM: Replacing Zarco was necessary for crew morale

Zarco had requested to be released from his two-year contract with KTM a year early, but both he and the team intended for him to see out the current season in his role.

The Frenchman admitted he was "shocked" when KTM replaced him with Mika Kallio ahead of the Aragon round, but Beirer explained that this had to do with the fact KTM's recent gains had done little to improve Zarco's frame of mind.

Asked if the Frenchman's muted reaction to one of his strongest weekends of the year at Misano had been a factor in KTM's decision, Beirer said: "To be honest, yes.

"We are really proud and happy for the steps we could do in the last weeks, and then we could see actually it helped him as well.

"And that Saturday in Misano for me was outstanding, and what he did in Q2, he had no fresh tyres, he did it with used tyres, so that laptime what he did in qualifying through Q1 to Q2, there you saw that amazing part of Johann, what he can do on a motorcycle.

"But still, we had an okay race weekend and then you still get the news on Monday [that he's not happy], and that was where I also definitely lost hope that we can turn it around.

"I'm responsible for the whole project. If you see things are starting to go good, but always 50 percent of the whole project is sad, because they try hard and we are always ending at the same point, there is moment where you need to decide.

"Somehow was also, I think, a needed signal for the crew, to stay positive and continue to work."

Read Also:

Team manager Mike Leitner said Zarco's "big crash" during warm-up in Misano had been another factor.

"He was very lucky not to hurt himself," Leitner explained. "So you start thinking, 'is this the correct way when he had already decided to stop this project, to push him for another six races?'."

Zarco 'too emotional' to give clear feedback

Beirer made it clear that he viewed Zarco as a "special character" and "nice boy", but felt that the French rider's emotional side made his KTM stint tougher.

"He could not control his emotions. And I'm not talking about the one or another thing that he said not so nice about the bike, that was okay. But he put so much stress on himself when things are not going easy," Beirer explained.

"I think to succeed on that level in MotoGP, of course you need to be emotional and powerful in one moment, but also you need to calm down and analyse the situation. And there he was super hot, and like, when you're out of the box with him and you talk to him, everything is calm.

"But then he goes riding... and even last Saturday in Misano when things went good, he could not see the positive and he was still complaining about the same things. Emotionally, he's getting too hot to give it a clear direction."

Additional reporting by German Garcia Casanova

Johann Zarco, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Johann Zarco, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
MotoGP updates track limits rules after Moto2 fallout

Previous article

MotoGP updates track limits rules after Moto2 fallout

Next article

Aragon MotoGP: Marquez beats Quartararo to pole

Aragon MotoGP: Marquez beats Quartararo to pole
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Johann Zarco
Teams Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021