How Ducati rebuilt Johann Zarco into a factory MotoGP rider

It has been quite an 18 months for Johann Zarco. From facing a potential MotoGP exile after splitting with KTM, the double Moto2 champion has shown his mettle to secure a prized spot in the Ducati fold, putting even greater prospects in reach…

The 2020 MotoGP season was full of ‘what-ifs’, but perhaps the biggest concerned Zarco. What if he had persevered with KTM into the second year of his contract? Could he have done what Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira were able to do and win races?

But this was not the path destined for the Moto2 world champion of 2015 and 2016. Herve Poncharal’s decision to promote Zarco to MotoGP in 2017 with his Tech3 team raised some eyebrows, but three podiums on the satellite Yamaha in his debut season had done enough to make him a major player in the 2019 rider market.

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