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Gardner reflects on turning down MotoGP™ interest

17/06/20

The Aussie was keen on staying put.

Remy Gardner is hopeful his decision not to explore a switch to MotoGP™ last year will pay off in the long run.

The highly rated 22-year-old was keen on staying put in Moto2™ for the 2020 season, despite reported interest from KTM.

Gardner’s 2019 season featured several bright moments, including a first podium finish and a first pole, and the Aussie hoped another full season in the class would attract the interest of several MotoGP™ teams.

Gardner, the son of Australian motorsport legend Wayne, caught the eye with a fifth-place finish in the Moto2™ season opener in Qatar before racing was halted due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Asked if he was still comfortable with his decision, Gardner told motogp.com.au: “Under normal circumstances, I was happy with my decision.

“I think that the race that I had in Qatar showed quite a positive step forward.

“I worked really hard throughout the winter on myself and my training and things like that and I think it really showed in pre-season testing and Qatar.

“It’s a shame that we couldn’t do any more races so far, but, yeah, I feel like it was the right decision.

“Hopefully we can have a few more races this year and see if that training really paid off.”

Make no mistake - Gardner is still desperate for his MotoGP™ chance.

He claimed it was his “dream” to race in the premier class but feels the fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic may mean it takes longer to achieve his ambition.

Talking to ex-MotoGP™ rider Chris Vermeulen in a video chat, Gardner was asked if racing in MotoGP™ in 2021 was still realistic.

“I think if all this situation hadn’t gone down, it would have been much more realistic,” he added.

“I still want to aim to get there for next year - I still think that’s where I picture myself.

“But I understand the situation has changed, not just for me, but for everyone, which can complicate things.

“Hopefully we can get back racing in July and [I] can start showing some potential again and we’ll see what we can do.

“Obviously it’s a dream of everyone’s, I guess, [to race in MotoGP], but we’ll have to see.

“Things are a little bit more complicated at the moment with the virus but we will see. There’s still possibilities.”

Gardner said he had taken lots of heart from the way Fabio Quartararo had adapted from Moto2™ to MotoGP™ racing.

“That’s what I’m looking at, [MotoGP], at the moment, especially for my size and my riding style,” he said.

“I think it’s much more suited to a MotoGP bike.

“There are a few guys in MotoGP right now doing a pretty good job, Fabio a really good job, that I have beaten before on many occasions … that gives me a boost of confidence.

“Hopefully the MotoGP™ team managers can look at it that way.”

The 2020 Moto2™ season is slated to resume in Spain in July.

Watch the full chat with Gardner and Vermeulen here.