Rivals’ crashes consign Gardner to last row at Aragon MotoGP

Remy Gardner

Remy Gardner says his cause in qualifying at the Aragon Grand Prix was not helped by multiple crashes in front of him.

The Tech3 KTM rider is set to start the 15th race of the MotoGP season from 22nd on the grid after missing the top two in Qualifying 1 at MotorLand Aragon by a full second.

However, twice in that session, Gardner was on a hot lap when a rival went down ahead of him.

The first was Maverick Viñales’ spill at Turn 2, which triggered a yellow flag that would have automatically cost the Australian his lap time anyway.

On Gardner’s final lap, he was just a couple of bike lengths behind Pol Espargaro when the Honda rider also had a front-end lose, at Turn 5.

While the 1:47.847s which the 2021 Moto2 champion would set that lap did count, presumably because there was not time to unfurl the yellows before he passed the crash scene, the incident could well have cost him time.

It was a down note after Gardner had finished 18th on combined times at the completion of Free Practice 3.

Pol Espargaro crashes in front of Gardner. Picture: Fox Sports

“The day started well with FP3 because I felt more comfortable with the set-up I had,” he said.

“In qualifying, I had an issue on the bike which forced me to head back to the garage, and then I was just unlucky.

“On my first flying lap, Maverick Viñales crashed in front of me, then Pol Espargaro crashed too on my second fast lap, so I just finished like I could.

“It is a shame because we could have had a better position on the grid. Let’s try to have a good race tomorrow.”

Gardner qualified one position behind team-mate Raul Fernandez at 0.176s slower.

Both have six races to go with Tech3 and KTM at most, with Fernandez off to Aprilia RNF and Gardner switching to the Superbike World Championship and Yamaha after his MotoGP contract was not renewed.

Race start at Aragon is due at 22:00 AEST.

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