News 20 Sep 2022

Gardner 'lucky' to avoid fallen Nakagami in Aragon carnage

Points nearly on the cards for RC16 challenger at round 15.

Image: Supplied.

MotoGP rookie Remy Gardner was ‘lucky’ to avoid fallen LCR Honda Idemitsu rider Takaaki Nakagami amidst the opening lap carnage at Aragon and is satisfied following a positive round 15.

Nakagami collided with Marc Marquez on the exit of turn five as the Repsol Honda rider was seemingly struggling to control his machine after an impact with Fabio Quartararo accelerating from the third corner.

As a result, the number 30 slid close to the racing line down to turn six and miraculously was not hit by any of the riders behind, including Gardner. Gardner, in fact, was able to capitalise on the situation and remain relatively on course, as Pol Espargaro, Franco Morbidelli, Maverick Vinales and teammate Raul Fernandez were among riders who were forced off track with evasive action.

“I am pretty happy with my race, to be honest,” Gardner said. “I was lucky enough to brake in time and avoid Takaaki Nakagami who crashed in the middle of the track just in front of me, so I am happy that no one was hurt.

“I kept losing time in the final sector on the last straight which is unfortunate because I was strong on the first three. Pol Espargaro eventually passed me within the final laps so I missed the points, which is a shame. Positive weekend anyway and I look forward to heading to Japan.”

Gardner ultimately missed a points-scoring position at Aragon by 1.3s and crossed the line P16. The 2022 MotoGP World Championship now moves to Motegi, Japan for round 16 to commence this Friday after a two-year hiatus from the venue due to coronavirus.

It is unclear if Nakagami will compete in his home GP and has undergone surgery with Dr Mir on tendon damage to fingers in his right hand, sustained from the first lap fall.