The 2022 MotoGP season is underway with Australian Remy Gardner making his debut in the premier class.
The 2021 Moto2 World Champion will continue to ride for the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing team and will join fellow Australian Jack Miller as a MotoGP rider in season 2022.
Remy is the son of the famous Wayne ‘the Wollongong Wiz’ Gardner, who was the first Australian to win motorcycle racing’s premier class in 1987 when he won the 500cc Motorcycle World Championship.
Race one of the new season was held at Qatar with Remy started from 22nd position and Miller starting from fourth on his Ducati.
After just one lap, Miller had dropped down to ninth before he experienced technical issues with his bike and was forced to retire with 16 of the 22 laps remaining.
Gardner got off to a decent start and he was staying close to the main group with some impressive overtaking pushing him close to the top 15 riders in the race.
The 24-year-old Gardner was in a battle with fellow rookie Darryn Binder who came up from the Moto3 class with Gardner labelling the duel as a ‘disaster’.
“At one point, I felt capable of catching Maverick Viñales and Andrea Dovizioso, but I had Darryn Binder in front of me and I could not get past him,” Gardner said.
“He is coming from the Moto3 class, so he was all over the place, coming back on line without looking, he was wide.”
“It was a disaster and I lost the group. I am hoping to catch up with him to discuss this.”
Gardner said he was happy to be in the points in his MotoGP debut race.
“Although it is not where we want to be, it is nice to be getting a MotoGP point. I felt good and fast during the first half of the race,” Gardner said.
The Qatar MotoGP was won by Italian Enea Bastianini on a Ducati with South African KTM rider Brad Binder second and Honda’s Spanish rider Pol Espargaro finishing third.
The victory was Bastianini’s first in the MotoGP class and he dedicated his win to former team boss Fausto Gresini, who died last year after contracting COVID-19.
Gresini died at the age of 60 and was the team’s founder and a two-time 125cc world champion in the 1980s.
“At the end Pol was really close to me. I understood that now I could try to win the race, and I overtook Pol on the first corner after he went out,” Bastianini said.
“I dedicate this victory to Fausto. He pushed me a lot from the skies, and it’s fantastic for all the team. I think we’ve all been crying.”
The next race of the MotoGP season is scheduled for March 20 in Indonesia.