MotoGP

Zarco can race or test for MotoGP rival while under KTM contract

KTM motorsport boss Pit Beirer says that Johann Zarco has the company’s blessing to test or race for a rival MotoGP manufacturer while he remains under contract.

Following Zarco’s decision to request an exit from his two-year deal one year early, KTM decided to drop the two-time Moto2 champion with immediate effect.

Zarco was then replaced by test rider Mika Kallio for the rest of the season, beginning in Aragon last weekend.

In its announcement, KTM clarified that Zarco would remain under contract until the end of the year, even though he will not ride its RC16 bike again.

The 29-year-old has ambitions to remain in MotoGP as a test rider with wildcard outings next season, prompting speculation he could audition for such a role with another manufacturer in the near future.

Asked at Aragon if he would consider allowing Zarco to represent one of KTM’s rival marques prior to the end of his contract, Beirer said: “Yes, we talked about this.

“To underline how much I like this boy, and how I want the best for him, [although] he is under contract to us and we’ll pay him until the last day of the season, but if he wants to test any motorcycle or race any motorcycle, he can race against us [immediately].

“If there is the smallest chance or opening, he has to jump on it with my full support and we will fix all the papers that are needed to get that release.

“I don’t know how it will work but we will make it [will] happen, for sure.”

Zarco has been linked with a return to the Yamaha fold for 2020 as a test rider, with options to race in MotoGP or even Moto2 next year having all but dried up.

His former Tech3 team-mate Jonas Folger was recruited to spearhead Yamaha’s European test team this year but has made only sporadic appearances on the M1 – most recently at the KymiRing test in Finland last month.

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