Tech 3 Yamaha announce Zarco signing

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 has finalised its 2017 MotoGP line-up after securing the services of Johann Zarco.

Zarco, the reigning Moto2 champion, joins fellow rookie Jonas Folger, as the duo take over from Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith, who are both switching to the new factory KTM team. 

Suzuki had an 'option' on Zarco for 2017, but he was no longer part of their equation after they signed Alex Rins alongside Andrea Iannone.

Zarco has signed a one-year deal with Tech 3, with an option for 2018. 

“It goes without saying that I am very happy to join the MotoGP class with Tech 3 and I am confident that we can form a solid partnership,” Zarco said. “The team has a deep relationship and long history with Yamaha and they have proved that they can manage well in every situation and have had a good package year after year. This pleases me and it gives me extra motivation for reaching my targets in the 2017 season. 

“Of course, it seems like a logical step for a French team and a French champion to work together, and now finally the deal is done which is certainly positive news. I really will do my best and prepare myself for the maximum because I think it's more than possible to get some top results in MotoGP after my long experience in the intermediate class.” 

Zarco has 11 wins to his name, as well as 25 podiums, after five seasons in Moto2.

Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal said: “After the long wait, I am delighted to announce that Johann Zarco will join the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team for next year. We haven't had the chance to work with a French rider in our MotoGP team since Sylvain Guintoli in 2007 but I am certain that Johann will do a great job. 

“We have been following him closely since he won the rookies cup and he has gone on to have further success in the 125cc class and Moto2. Last season was incredible for him and he won the championship in a masterful way.”