Honda: Zarco “was the best option we could have, unique rider”

Lucio Cecchinello says Honda secured the ‘best option’ at their disposal for the 2024 MotoGP season in Johann Zarco.
Johann Zarco, Ducati MotoGP Catalunya 2023
Johann Zarco, Ducati MotoGP Catalunya 2023

The Pramac Ducati rider will end his four-year partnership with the Italian manufacturer at the end of the current MotoGP season, before making a return to Honda, albeit on a permanent deal.

Zarco took part in three races for the Japanese brand following his mid-season split from KTM in 2019.

Zarco will replace Alex Rins, who is moving to Yamaha despite signing a two-year deal with the team. 

The Frenchman is the only rider on the grid who has competed for four different manufacturers, which according to Cecchinello gives the LCR team a ‘unique’ rider.

Zarco has often been seen as one of Ducati’s best riders for developing new parts, something Honda will need due to their current situation.

Honda are in the midst of their worst period in MotoGP with Marc Marquez and Joan Mir struggling for any type of form.

Both riders are leading the way for the most crashes in 2023, which has not only led to injury for both, but the pair being linked with moves away even though they are also on deals that run until the end of 2024.

But with Zarco being added to the fold for next year, Honda could be signing a rider that can help move them forward in terms of development, especially as he will bring invaluable insight from Ducati.

Speaking about the team’s new signing, Cecchinello said: "We are very pleased to have signed Johann for 2024 and 2025, he was the best option we could have. He is a very experienced rider."

"He did a great development work in Ducati, but I don’t know why they decided to use him as a sort of ‘test rider’. He’s quite unique to ride Yamaha, KTM, Honda and Ducati."

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