Australia’s Remy Gardner made a brilliant debut for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team in the opening round of the 2021 Moto2™ season.
The 23-year-old finished in second place at the Qatar GP on Sunday – his sixth podium in the intermediate class.
Gardner, who started from the second row of the grid, steadily moved his way up through the field at Losail.
The race was won by Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), followed by Gardner and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini).
Gardner’s teammate Raul Fernandez also produced a strong performance by taking P5 in his Moto2™ debut.
“It was a tough Sunday, as we had to work hard from the start of the race,” Gardner said. “However, we had a good pace, and we were fast.
“The strong wind made overtaking difficult, as the bike was moving a lot and it was not an easy task to move up the field.
“I did my best to try to catch up with the leader, but he was putting in a fast pace.
“I got a little closer by the end, and I thought that maybe I could reel him in, but with six laps to go I decided that it was better not to risk losing everything.
“We have a podium to start the year and a good handful of points.
“Now it's time to focus on next week, when we will give one hundred percent to get another great result.”
Moto2™ returns to Losail this weekend for the Doha GP – the second of two consecutive rounds in Qatar to start the 2021 campaign.
Team manager Aki Ajo added: “We have a good combination of experience and young talent on the team.
“Although Remy has great experience in Moto2, whilst Raul is a rookie, we saw today that both are ready to get into the fight.
“I think that Remy will be one of the riders challenging for the top positions in the World Championship at the end of the year, whilst Raul will keep improving and adapting.”