Johann Zarco joins LCR Honda for the final laps of the 2019 M …

LCR Honda has officially confirmed that Johann Zarco will join the team for the final three rounds of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship in place of the injured Takaaki Nakagami.

The Frenchman was advised to snatch the spot cleared by Nakagami after the Japanese confirmed he would skip the final three races of the season to deal with a shoulder injury sustained in an accident at Assen earlier this year .

Zarco – three-time pole sitter and six-time MotoGP podium winner – has been out of action since Misano when he officially severed ties with the Red Bull KTM Factory team after disappointing results since joining the manufacturer at the beginning of the 2019 season.

It had originally planned to leave at the end of the season – in the middle of a two-year deal – but was dropped before the end of the season when KTM turned to developing the 2020 MotoGP KTM RC16.

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Regardless, Zarco was still under contract with KTM until the end of the season and would have needed permission to move to LCR Honda, which it duly issued.

“What an opportunity to compete in the final races of the season on the LCR Honda IDEMITSU bike. I’m really grateful to have this chance and I’ll do my best to get good results and enjoy the time because these could be the last three races I can contest for a while. I want to thank KTM for letting me go so I can do these races on a different motorcycle.

“Let’s see what I can do. First of all, I know I’ll enjoy the Phillip Island circuit, it’s a fast track and I think the feeling could be good. We keep our fingers crossed that it can be and we’ll see what is possible. The goal is to drive a good pace and rediscover some of the good feeling I had before. “

Nakagami will compete in MotoGP in his native Japan this weekend at Motegi before taking a break.

Can Johann Zarco show MotoGP what is missing?

This is a great opportunity for Zarco to make himself look more desirable to the teams going forward, even if that doesn’t necessarily change his immediate plans.

Nakagami may be out due to injury, but LCR Honda also confirmed that he will definitely continue with the team for the next season, closing the penultimate door to MotoGP 2020 – even if few kept it open for him anyway – with the only free one Seat he left over at KTM.

Even so, Zarco will ride a motorcycle that looked competitive in the hands of Nakagami, and Zarco – despite his inexperience with the 2018 Honda RC213V – will endeavor to at least demonstrate better shape that he had on a KTM machine that he could. t adapt to your gentle driving style.

While Zarco may find it challenging to get up to speed on Philip Island – even if he has a very strong record aboard the Yamaha there – he will definitely be on par with Valencia’s Cal Crutchlow.

It’s hard to see where Zarco fits into the 2020 MotoGP roster, with a test role seemingly the most plausible target for the Frenchman, but after such a damaging stint at KTM, this is the perfect opportunity for him to remember it Paddock, what they may be missing.