Zarco makes KTM switch for 2019

Pol Espargaro will have a new KTM team-mate from next year's MotoGP season, with Johann Zarco making the switch.

Johann Zarco in action   -  Getty Images

Johann Zarco has agreed to join KTM from next season, signing a two-year deal with the MotoGP team.

The Frenchman has long been linked with a move to KTM and he will join Pol Espargaro in their line-up from 2019, leaving no spot for Bradley Smith.

Zarco, who will leave his ride with Tech3 Yamaha to make the move, is one of MotoGP's hottest properties having won the Rookie of the Year in 2017.

MotoGP victories have thus far eluded him, but he has four career poles to his name.

"It is clear that we want to take another step in MotoGP," said KTM Motorsports Director Pit Beirer. 

"The first two years were about building up the project and to get everything running. 

"You always want to get the best possible riders on board and it's obvious with Johann beating the factory guys on satellite machinery and consistently qualifying on the front row means he is a strong fighter with a strong sprit. 

"I'm convinced we can reach the next level with a rider like Johann with us."

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