MotoGP can be a meat grinder. While championship-winning riders like Marc Marquez and Fabio Quartararo can count on constructors to extend their contracts, many mid-pack riders and back markers bid the Grand Prix paddock adieu after just a few seasons. Sadly, some racers only last one season in the premier class, and it looks like Tech 3 KTM rider Remy Gardner could suffer the same fate at the end of the 2022 season.
The Aussie entered his rookie MotoGP season with high hopes. Fresh off a spirited battle with teammate Raul Fernandez for the 2021 Moto2 title, Gardner joined the top category with high expectations. The 2022 season has produced anything but positive results for the reigning Moto2 champ, unfortunately. After 12 races, number 87 has only finished in the point-scoring places (1-15) in four races.
Despite those poor overall results, Gardner hasn’t committed many mistakes in 2022, only crashing out of one race. Instead, many point to the KTM RC 16’s lackluster performance as the reason for Gardner’s frightful form. Aside from Brad Binder, who sits at seventh in the title standings, all KTM riders have struggled at the helm of Team Orange’s bike.
Four-time Grand Prix-winner Miguel Oliveira currently resides in the 10th position in the championship chase, but Gardner and teammate Fernandez continue to languish in 23rd and 24th place, respectively. With the Pierer Mobility Group recently rebranding the Tech 3 KTM satellite squad as the Gas Gas Factory team and enlisting the services of Pol Espargaro, it seems like Gardner’s 2023 options are dwindling by the day.
“In MotoGP, it doesn’t look like there’s anything (for me next year),” Gardner admitted. “KTM’s done it again.”
For those unfamiliar with the situation, KTM has earned a reputation for poor rider relations over the years. In 2019, Johann Zarco prematurely ended his contract with the manufacturer after disagreements over the RC 16’s development. Spanish rider Iker Lecuona finished out his contract with the Tech 3 KTM team in 2021, but the constructor didn’t renew his contract, forcing him to move on to the Superbike World Championship (WSBK).
Now, Gardner may be in the same situation, potentially searching for a seat outside of the premier class after just one season. Of course, we won’t know where the Aussie is headed until he makes an announcement, but losing such a young talent doesn’t bode well for MotoGP’s future.