Zarco to stay at Tech3 in 2018

Zarco to stay at Tech3 in 2018
By AutoSport

18/05/2017 at 20:07

MotoGP rookie Johann Zarco will remain a Tech3 Yamaha rider in 2018.

The 26-year-old has stepped up to the premier class with the Yamaha satellite team this year after taking back-to-back Moto2 titles.

Suzuki had an option on Zarco in early 2016, and tested him mid-year, before signing Alex Rins.

Zarco joined Tech3 in a one-year deal with an option for 2018 and has been a standout performer.

"Perhaps he could have waited a bit longer to make this decision, but he told me that he is happy and ready to commit himself to us," Tech3 boss Herve Poncharal said.

"We are very proud to have that sort of confidence from Johann.

"He has already brought some amazing things to the team, such as huge excitement and joy, but he has also given us some pride back.

"I'm sure the best is yet to come, yet what he has done in the first four rounds is really impressive."

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Zarco, riding a 2016-spec Yamaha, made headlines by leading on his MotoGP debut in Qatar, although he eventually crashed out.

He has since posted three straight top-five finishes and is currently the highest-placed satellite in the standings in sixth.

"At the moment, I am enjoying an amazing debut in this category where I have learnt a huge amount, and the team have now given me the confidence for next year, which is just fantastic," Zarco said.

"We can see that Tech3 is a great team because when we push, it's possible to get a strong result.

"I am very happy but this is only the beginning and I will keep learning and growing so that I can regularly fight for podiums.

"Once I am at this level, I plan to continue in this way for as long as possible.

"In 2018, the rules won't change and I will have an entire year of experience so this will certainly help me to get to the top."

Team-mate and fellow rookie Jonas Folger, six points behind Zarco in eighth, is currently not confirmed beyond 2017.