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MotoGP, Johann Zarco: the 'phantom' variable of the 2024 transfer market

The Frenchman’s name never gets mentioned, but if Bezzecchi were to take his place, a chain reaction would be triggered, perhaps even in SBK

MotoGP: Johann Zarco: the 'phantom' variable of the 2024 transfer market

When we talk about the future scenarios of the MotoGP for 2024 we always seem to forget one name, that of Johann Zarco. The Pramac team’s Frenchman always seems to remain in the shadows in the market dealings, but to be honest he is the one who could mess up everybody’s plans. His contract is expiring, Paolo Campinoti would be happy to keep him in the team, but his future depends primarily on Bezzecchi.

Marco is showing a lot of growth and deserves a factory Ducati for next year. He and VR46 would like him to remain in his current team, but Gigi Dall'Igna doesn't seem too inclined to increase the number of factory Desmosedicis from 4 (two for the internal team and the same for Pramac) to 5. If he were to stay with this idea, Bezzecchi would be 'forced' to switch to Pramac if he wanted an updated Ducati and he would do so by taking Zarco's place.

In this case, Johann would have two paths ahead of him. Considering his relationship with Ducati, he might find a place in the Gresini team. There is a free seat there because Di Giannantonio is out of the picture and Arbolino and Morbidelli (who has also been contacted by Honda to replace Rins in the LCR team) are aiming for that bike. However, Zarco would have priority over Franco who in that case would find a place in VR46 in place of Bezzecchi, while the doors of Borgo Panigale would be closed for Tony.

This is the first scenario, but there is also another one. Johann will turn 33 in a few days, he has been in MotoGP since 2017 and despite having stepped on the podium many times, he has never won a race. Thus, he might think that the time has come for a change of scenery and to look at SBK.

Of course, any possible debut in the production derived racing series would be with Ducati. In that case, Gresini's seat would remain free, but the situation for the Aruba team would be complicated. It is now an open secret that Rinaldi will not continue in the factory squad next year and, in theory, his replacement should be Nicolò Bulega, already in force at the Italian squad in the Supersport championship, which he is dominating.

He is candidate number 1, but Zarco could reshuffle all the cards that are now well aligned on the table.

Everything will be decided by Bezzecchi's destination and we might know in the next few weeks.

 

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