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Remy Gardner rejected interest from KTM over 2020 MotoGP seat

Remy Gardner, son of 1987 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner, says he was contacted about a potential promotion to MotoGP in 2020 at KTM

Remy Gardner, Wayne Gardner

Remy Gardner, son of 1987 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner, has revealed he received interest from KTM over a possible ride in the 2020 MotoGP World Championship.

The Australian, currently competing in the Moto2 World Championship, said he was approached in the wake of the Austrian race when it became apparent Johann Zarco planned to leave KTM at the end of the season. 

Though Gardner plays down the seriousness of the interest – not least whether it was for a factory role or with the satellite Tech 3 outfit - he says he turned it down anyway as he feels he could benefit more from another season in the intermediate class

“This was back after I had a decent race in Austria until I got taken out… My manager just said he was expecting a call from KTM and what were my thoughts?" he told the official MotoGP website.

"I thought I would like to continue in Moto2 for one more year. I said I like fighting at the front, when we're there. I had a two-year contract with these [SAG] guys. I'm happy with the team. I want one more year's experience and I thought it's probably better to stay here at the moment."

Why did KTM approach Remy Gardner?

On the strength of results alone, Remy Gardner may be considered something of an unexpected choice for KTM to show interest in, not least because he is currently classified 12th in the overall standings.

However, this season has seen a notable stride in performance from the youngster having picked up his first podium with a second-place result in Argentina and another pair of top five results on the SAG Kalex.

There is no denying the appeal of the Gardner name, at the very least from a KTM marketing perspective, while the fact he is the second-highest placed non-European in the standings will also appeal to commercial rights holders Dorna. The best placed non-European, incidentally, is Brad Binder, who is on his way to MotoGP in 2020 with Tech 3 KTM.

What it does show is KTM – which has held its cards close to its chest when it comes to discussing its options to replace Zarco - could be considering options from Moto2 for 2020. Though several riders are now off the market, it is understood most could be negotiated out of their contracts if a MotoGP opportunity came knocking.

In this instance it is assumed KTM would promote Miguel Oliveira to its factory set up and place a rookie alongside Binder at Tech 3, whom Gardner competed with in 2018.

For now, Mika Kallio is the favourite for the ride as he ‘auditions’ alongside Pol Espargaro in the final rounds, a likely desirable option if for nothing else than it would be just for a single season before the usual cycle of contract renewals begin for 2021.

However, the Finn hasn’t sparkled on the RC16 in race conditions as yet, meaning it remains very unknown exactly which way KTM will lean come the season’s end.