One of the biggest dominoes of the 2018 MotoGP Silly Season has just fallen into place with the announcement thatJohann Zarco has signed a two-year contract to race for KTM. The move will see the in demand Frenchman switch to the orange machines for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, joining Pol Espargaro who has just announced a contract extension. Zarco’s performances on the Tech 3 satellite Yamaha has seen his stock rise since he made his debut in the premier class last year, with many paddock insiders having him as a shoe-in to replace Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda. The choice essentially boiled down to this – trying to beat Marc Marquez on a bike designed for Marc Marquez, or developing the KTM into a weapon capable of beating the reigning champion. It seems Zarco has favoured rising to the challenge. Speaking in Jerez he said: ”For sure the chance with Honda is quite amazing for a rider, but the way KTM wanted me and also this challenge to be with a European constructor as a European rider gives me a lot of motivation. "Together with my coach Laurent Fellon that I still have a very close relationship with for motorbikes - he really feels the bike is good and we can do great things. I trust him and that's why we want to go for that challenge. My coach trusts that I can adapt well and that the things I've learnt during two years with the Yamaha and the MotoGP category will help me a lot. "If we get good results and develop the bike we can have a fantastic future and the way KTM were improving last year made me think something is possible. "I had the choice and I went there because I want to play with this challenge. My feeling is really good in MotoGP now. I enjoy it so much, the performance is good too and I hope to stay at this level for the next two years." The move means Bradley Smith will be looking for a new ride at the end of the season, with WSBK his most likely destination.