Born in Cannes, Zarco progressed up the motorcycling ladder and moved into minimoto championships in 2004, mainly based in Italy. In 2005, Zarco finished as runner-up in the Senior Mini European Championship and in 2006, he was runner-up in the European Open Championship. He also competed in the Italian 125cc championship, where he finished in twelfth place. Zarco took part in the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2007, and won the championship at Estoril, after winning three races. He added a fourth win at the final race in Valencia. These performances enabled Zarco to become part of the Red Bull MotoGP Academy scheme along with Cameron Beaubier, Jonas Folger and Danny Kent. This reduced his racing in 2008, making a sporadic appearance in the Italian championship with Team Gabrielli.
Zarco made his Grand Prix début with the WTR San Marino Team, in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix. He finished the race in the points in 15th, although the rain-shortened race meant that Zarco gained just half a point. He took seven further points-scoring finishes, as he finished 20th in the championship. Zarco's best result of the season was a sixth-place finish at Mugello.
Zarco remained with WTR for the 2010 season. Zarco started the season with a consistent run of points-scoring finishes, finishing each of the first eight races in the points. At the Czech Grand Prix, Zarco recorded the first fastest lap of his career, having pitted for slick tyres as the track's conditions became better for them to be run. He ultimately finished eleventh in the championship, despite retiring from the final three races.
For 2011 he signed with Ajo Motorsport. At the second race, the Spanish Grand Prix, he gained his first podium finish by finishing third.
Zarco moved up to the Moto2 class with the JiR team, aboard Motobi bikes in 2012. He finished the season 10th in the standings with 95 points and was easily the highest placed rookie that year. In 2013, he moved to the Ioda Project Racing Team aboard a Suter, he improved on his rookie season by finishing on the podium twice and ended 9th on the standings with 141 points. For 2014, he joined the new Caterham Moto Racing team. He impressed on what many considered to be an inferior bike compared to the mainly dominant Kalex bikes. He managed to earn 4 podium finishes, as well as 1 pole position, earning him 6th in the standings with 146 points. In 2015, Zarco moved to the debuting Ajo Motorsport team, who he raced with in the 125cc class. Zarco dominated the field and won his first Moto2 title, with 8 wins, 14 podiums, 7 poles and a record points haul of 352. He remained with the team for 2016 and successfully defended his Moto2 title, becoming the first rider in the Moto2 era to win 2 intermediate titles, with 7 wins, 10 podiums, 7 poles and 276 points. Zarco became a popular figure with the fans with his spectacular backflip celebrations when he won a race.
For 2017, Zarco moved up to the Premier class as part of the Tech 3 Yamaha team. On his MotoGP debut at the Qatari grand prix Zarco shocked the grid by taking the lead on the first lap and building a 2 second lead, until he crashed out at turn 2 on lap 6.
He scored 2nd, his first MotoGP podium, at the Le Mans France grand prix.
* Season still in progress.
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)
* Season still in progress.