Johann Zarco

Double Moto2 world champion Johann Zarco made his MotoGP debut in 2017 as part of the Monster Tech3 Yamaha equipe. Born in Cannes in 1990, the young Johann started out on mini bikes before being picked up for the MotoGP Rookies Cup in its inaugural season in 2007.

The Frenchman became the first ever Rookies Cup winner, taking victory in three of the seven races and landing on the podium in all but one of the others. Despite his Rookies success, Johann elected not to race in the world championship in 2008, instead training hard and undertaking just a few races in the Italian 125cc championship. His determination led to a 125cc world championship ride in 2009, with three seasons in the class leading to one race win, a 10 further podiums and a championship silver medal in 2011.

For 2012, Zarco switched to the Moto2 class in which he would spend the next five seasons. An impressively consistent debut season saw a best race finish of 4th and 10th overall on his Motobi machine. That was followed by his first two podiums and ninth overall in 2013, with four podiums and sixth overall the next season. Johann had proven himself as one of the fastest and most consistent riders in Moto2, but the real breakthrough came in 2015 when he stampeded over the competition to win eight of the 18 races and set a record tally of 352 points on his way to the title.

That championship season also saw the return of the ‘Flipping Frenchman’ with Johann, an accomplished gymnast in his school days, celebrating his wins with the fans by climbing onto a tyre wall and performing one of his trademark backflips. The backflip was performed seven more times in 2016 as Johann became the first rider to win the Moto2 title twice. But there would be no hat-trick of Moto2 titles for the charismatic Frenchman, well liked by fans and fellow riders. In July 2016 it was announced that Zarco would graduate to the premier MotoGP class with France’s only top level team – Monster Tech3 Yamaha.

By the end of the 2017 season, the 'Flipping Frenchman' had proven his skill at the top flight of motorcycle racing many times over. With sterling results throughout the season on an unfamiliar bike, Zarco has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is one to watch as a future World Champion contender. Alongside his teammate, Jonas Folger, Zarco catapulted the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP team to the highest ranking satellite team in the MotoGP World Championship and secured the much coveted title of Rookie of the Year.