Johann Zarco is to leave KTM at the end of the season

Paris (AFP) - French rider Johann Zarco is to quit the KTM team at the end of the season following a string of disappointing results, the MotoGP team announced on Monday.

The 29-year-old was contracted to race for KTM until the end of the 2020 season but since joining the Austrian team has failed to adapt to the bike, resulting in crashes and poor results.

“Zarco tried to adapt his riding style to the KTM RC16 and the team tried relentlessly to mould the bike #5 machine to the Frenchman’s wishes and requirements while team-mate Pol Espargaro made regular Q2 qualification appearances and persistently vied for top 10 positions,” KTM said in a statement.

“Ultimately both Johann and the team decided not to proceed with their joint project for 2020 and will now focus on giving the maximum for the final eight rounds and remaining months of MotoGP 2019.”

Zarco’s departure comes as a shock to the MotoGP circuit in spite of his poor results this season which see him down in 17th place in the title race with just 22 points.

Zarco came into MotoGP on the back of two world championship wins in Moto 2 and was seen as a potential challenger to the likes of Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo.

In his first season with the Tech 3 Yamaha team in 2017, he finished sixth in the title race, claiming the Rookie of the Year Award.