News 10 Aug 2022

Gap to front reducing as Gardner builds experience

Strong British GP for Australian with season-best qualifying of P16.

Image: Supplied.

Tech3 KTM Factory Racing MotoGP rookie Remy Gardner took a positive step at Silverstone as he continues to build experience in the premier class, reducing the gap to the lead in his closest finish to the front yet.

Despite struggling with rear grip in the closing stages, Gardner crossed the line 24.579s from race-winner Francesco Bagnaia in Sunday’s 20-lap British GP.

While P18 wasn’t his strongest result of the season, it was a step forward in terms of time in arrears to the race victor as he finished closer than his previous best in Argentina of 28.711s. The Australian also scored the team’s best qualifying result of the season on Saturday with P16.

“I made a decent start and went with the group,” Gardner explained. “It was fun. I was enjoying myself but from about lap ten the rear tyre really dropped and the last six laps was about survival.

“There was no edge grip and it was costing me a couple of seconds a lap. We didn’t try the hard tire over the weekend and that was a mistake. It might have given us a better result. The gap to the front was the closest it has been all year, even with those last six-seven laps so the pace was pretty good.”

The step forward comes as a timely boost for the number 87, who has not yet secured a place on the 2023 MotoGP grid despite bettering teammate Raul Fernandez on several occasions.

Pol Espargaro seems likely to return to KTM with the Tech3 outfit and confirmed at Silverstone his 2023 machine would be ‘very familiar’, with one-half of Herve Poncharal’s team to be confirmed ahead of the Austrian GP.

KTM Motorsports director Pit Beirer revealed the second seat in the outfit is still up for grabs. With Fernandez expected to switch to RNF Aprilia from 2023 alongside outgoing Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Miguel Oliveira, it seems Gardner and Moto2 standout Augusto Fernandez are key candidates in contention for the ride.