KTM: Zarco had "tears in his eyes" asking for termination

Johann Zarco had "tears in his eyes" as he requested an early end to his KTM MotoGP contract, according to the Austrian marque's motorsport boss Pit Beirer.

KTM: Zarco had "tears in his eyes" asking for termination

KTM announced on Monday morning that Zarco, who had initially penned a two-year deal with the Mattighofen-based squad, would leave at the end of the current season.

The move was agreed in an emotional meeting at the Red Bull Ring late on Saturday, according to Beirer, who described Zarco's decision as "understandable" but also "super-sad".

“It wasn't exactly our own decision," said Beirer on Red Bull-owned network Servus TV. "Johann came to me and Mike Leitner on Saturday evening, he wanted an appointment with us.

"We were a bit surprised, because the time was a bit unusual for a short briefing. And there he sat in front of us, really tense and with tears in his eyes, saying that at the moment he can't handle it anymore and he wants to get out of the contract.

"There wasn't much room to discuss anything. His decision was so firm and so clear and actually sad. For us the moment was actually super-sad, but it was also our wish to help him to get out of this situation and not to burden him even more.

"As a person and as a guy, how he sat there, it was really cruel to watch. On the other hand it is understandable from a sporting point of view. He sees himself with us in a valley where he can't get out any more, and now he just wants to realign himself."

Read Also:

Zarco wrote on his Instagram account that leaving KTM was a "hard decision" but that he wanted to be able to compete "with [a] smile, racing for podiums".

Speaking to MotoJournal, he added: "I wanted to do it in the purest way: first, put an end to my KTM contract, then look for something else.

"My front row in Brno showed me that I still had the speed. I want to stay in MotoGP and I'm working on it. There should be some progress in Silverstone."

KTM to take time on Zarco replacement

Beirer admitted the timing of Zarco's pending departure was "extremely bad" because of the nature of MotoGP's two-year contract cycles.

Jack Miller was briefly linked with a move to join Pol Espargaro at the works KTM team before Jorge Lorenzo decided against a mooted switch to Pramac Ducati, a move which would have left the Australian rider without a seat.

"The time to find a new rider here is not really the best," Beirer said. "There is no big masterplan with new names either, but at least there is a new version.

"We decided to start the new application deadline today. It will last until November 19 in Valencia [the season finale], so we're looking forward to top riders from all over the world applying for the MotoGP ride.”

Test riders Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio, as well as Tech 3 rider Miguel Oliveira, are among the potential candidates to take Zarco's ride already in the KTM stable.

Additional reporting by Juliane Ziegengeist

Johann Zarco, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Johann Zarco, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Marquez signs new Marc VDS Moto2 deal for 2020

Previous article

Marquez signs new Marc VDS Moto2 deal for 2020

Next article

Pedrosa: Replacing Zarco at KTM is “not my plan”

Pedrosa: Replacing Zarco at KTM is “not my plan”
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Prime

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Prime

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
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