Johann Zarco will remain with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team for the 2018 MotoGP season, the French outfit has confirmed on the eve of the pair’s home race.

Zarco stepped up to the premier class with Tech 3 at the start of this season following two title-winning years in the Moto2 class, the Frenchman the first rider to do so since the introduction of the 600cc four-stroke formula in 2010.

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The Tech 3 rider has already made a splash in his short MotoGP career, Zarco becoming the first premier class rookie since Max Biaggi in 1998 to lead their debut race before the Frenchman unfortunately crashed out on lap seven in Qatar.

Proving that pace was no fluke in the following races with two fifths and a fourth, Zarco heads into his home race at Le Mans sixth in the standings on 35 points.

“I am very happy to know that I will continue my MotoGP experience with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 in 2018,” he said.

“At the moment, I am enjoying an amazing debut in this category where I have learnt a huge amount, and the team has now given me the confidence for next year, which is just fantastic.

“I want to say thank you to my manager, Laurent Fellon, who has helped me at all times and also thanks to the people who have assisted me since I started racing in the world championship.

“We can all see that Tech 3 is a great team, because when we push it’s possible to get a strong result.”

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Tech 3 team boss Herve Poncheral added: “This news is incredibly good for me and for the entire Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team, but it is also positive for MotoGP racing worldwide and especially in France.

“Perhaps he could have waited a bit longer to make this decision, but he told me that he is happy and ready to commit himself to us. We are very proud to have that sort of confidence from Johann.

“He has already brought some amazing things to the team, such as huge excitement and joy, but he has also given us some pride back. I’m sure the best is yet to come, yet what he has done in the first four rounds is really impressive.”