Gardner nearly crashed in Valencia thanks to Alex Marquez

Remy Gardner

Remy Gardner says he nearly crashed out of the Valencia MotoGP due to a spill for Alex Marquez just in front of him.

The Sydney-born rider finished 13th in what was his final MotoGP round for the foreseeable future, but suggested it could easily have been a ninth ‘zero’ in 10 races.

After qualifying 20th, Gardner gained five positions in the first four laps around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, but was still 15th after Marquez crashed on Lap 7.

He would eventually get the better of Marquez’s LCR Honda team-mate Takaaki Nakagami, putting a pass on the Japanese rider on the 27th and final lap.

“It was a good race,” declared the Tech3 KTM pilot.

“The start was not ideal because I went outside in Turn 1 and was held up in Turn 2, but after that I felt like I was on a mission and made my way to the top 15.

“At Lap 7, I was feeling pretty good and was trying to get back at Alex Marquez, but then he crashed just in front of me.

“I went a bit wide and gave everything I had to pick the bike up because I almost crashed.

“The end was quite fun; [team-mate] Raul Fernandez and I had a few battles together.

“We finished in the points in the end which is quite good.

“On to the next chapter.”

Said next chapter will be the Superbike World Championship, on a Yamaha entered by GRT.

Gardner will make the switch after finishing 23rd in his rookie MotoGP season, one position behind Fernandez, as they were in the last race of the year.

Tech3 Team Manager Herve Poncharal said, “This season was very difficult, but like I have said many times, we must not forget that it was our rookie season.

“We worked really hard and gave our riders everything we could so they could learn about the MotoGP class in the best way possible, together with the support of KTM.”

Raul Fernandez is also on the move, to the RNF squad which becomes Aprilia’s satellite team, with Pol Espargaro returning to the KTM group from Repsol Honda and Augusto Fernandez (no relation) promoted from Moto2, of which he is now the 2022 world champion.

They will share the garage at what will be known as Tech3 GasGas Factory Racing, with the squad taking on the branding of another of KTM’s marques but continuing to field RC16s.

The Valencia post-season test takes place tomorrow.

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