Remy Gardner says that he had “four or five massive saves” as he battled to 14th in the Moto2 Andalucian Grand Prix.
The result is the third points finish from as many races so far in 2020 for the Australian, although he lamented a lack of grip from his OneXOX TKKR SAG Team Kalex.
Gardner could only manage 14th on the grid in the second Jerez round and ran as high as 11th before taking the chequered flag in the same position in which he started, 23 laps later.
“It was another tough Friday,” said the 22-year-old.
“We still weren’t quite there with the bike set-up. We could see the problem on the telemetry, but we just couldn’t seem to get around it. We kept thinking for solutions for Saturday and qualifying but remained fully focused on Sunday which is where you get the points.
“We made a good step forward on Saturday morning but then went the wrong way in qualifying, especially when you factor the heat. I was giving 100 percent but there was nothing more I could, so we qualified on Row 5.
“Racing is always different to finding a fast lap, so I was confident of moving forward when the lights went out and making something out of what had been a challenging start to the weekend.
“As it happens, I had a bike with no grip, just like last week. I had four or five massive saves and unfortunately it ended a pretty bad weekend. We will come back stronger in Brno.”
After finishes of fifth in Qatar and seventh in the Spanish Grand Prix, Gardner slipped from fifth to eighth in the championship.
Enea Bastianini (Kalex) moved up to second in the title race, two points from the lead, with his first Moto2 win.
The Italtrans Racing Team rider passed pole-sitter Marco Bezzecchi at Dry Sack (Turn 6) on Lap 1 and led for the rest of the way, although he did come under significant pressure from Luca Marini for several laps during the middle stages of the race.
Marini therefore ran second from Turn 9 until the finish while Bezzecchi made it both Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalexes and three Italians on the podium.
Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) holds on to a reduced championship lead by finishing 11th, after a heavy crash in Free Practice 3.
In Moto3, Albert Arenas (Solunion Aspar KTM) continues to lead the championship despite crashing out of a race won by Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda).
MotoE went to Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact), who now leads the World Cup after Matteo Ferrari (Gresini) took out opening round winner Eric Granado (Avintia).
Australian Josh Hook (Pramac) was eighth and occupies the same position in the standings.
Moto2 and Moto3 are next in action at Brno on August 7-9, while MotoE continues at Misano on September 11-13.