Thursday at the British MotoGP saw Johann Zarco back in the paddock for the first time since the shock news that he will split from the factory KTM team at the end of this season.

The Frenchman called an early end to his two-year agreement after being left with sleepless nights as he struggled on the RC16.

Zarco, who took six podiums and four pole positions with Tech3 Yamaha, has a best finish of tenth for KTM this season.

The 29-year-old admitted walking out of a well-paid factory contract might not be logical, but it feels like a handbrake has been released and pledged to give his best until the end of the season.

"It was Saturday in Austria when I spoke with the KTM bosses. I said we have to meet and then I announced it [to them]," Zarco confirmed.

"I said to KTM, being honest, if I accept to finish 15th just to do the job, it means I will ride only for your money and I don’t want to do that."

Zarco conceded there is a sense of failure in quitting KTM, but felt his career was at greater risk if he stayed on for a second year.

"The feeling was if I continue for next year and I cannot have better results, I will not only fail with this project but fail with my career," he said. "So that was biggest scare. That's why I prefer to have the opportunity to do something else next year, rather than wait one more year."

"I was speaking with the people around me, but as everyone said 'we cannot choose for you'," he added.

"If you have a choice between having nothing [in place for next year] or to continue in MotoGP with a good salary, which would you choose? Logically, you would choose to continue in MotoGP.

"But I was feeling bad and I said 'no, I cannot. It’s not the way I want to race'."

Zarco said his lack of understanding with the RC16 even created an element of danger.

"When I say even dangerous it's because I was coming with the best motivation every weekend and after a few runs on the bike I was not feeling good because I was trying to solve my problems and not finding any solution. So then I didn't know what to do," he said.

"What could become dangerous was that I even wondered how to ride the bike and at this speed you normally just have to take a decision and take the right decision. If you start to think too much which decision you have to take, you cannot be fast."

But Zarco insisted he is fully committed to seeing out the remaining eight races of this season for KTM.

"On a MotoGP bike you cannot go halfway, you have to give everything or if not you don’t go on the bike," he said. "That's my way and I was giving everything also from the beginning of the year until now.

"But the last races I was giving everything, but with like a handbrake inside me. So let's see what happens now I have released this handbrake. As a professional I'm still ready to go on track and give the best."

Finally, when asked if there were there any positives to come out of the last ten months, Zarco paused before replying:

"Yes. The positive is that I'm still crazy enough to take a decision that no-one would take! That may be a something that is necessary if you really trust in what you want."

KTM is yet to announce Zarco's replacement, with most riders already signed until the end of next season.

Meanwhile, Zarco is now starting talks about a possible return to Moto2 and/or a MotoGP testing role.

 

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