Australian Moto2 champion Remy Gardner learned before the Austrian Grand Prix that KTM Factory Racing is not going to renew his contract with MotoGP for 2023. Not because of the results, but because of a couple of careless comments that the son of MotoGP Legend Wayne Gardner gave to the media.
The story of Gardner’s deportation from KTM Factory Racing resembles the situation in which Max Biaggi found himself in 2005. Biaggi joined MotoGP through the Yamaha factory team, but in 2003 he moved to the Honda camp and performed at the RC211V closest to the factory.
Erv Kanemoto, who was in charge of the RCV project at the time, promoted Biaggi in status, transferring him to the factory Repsol Honda in 2005. Max’s partner was Nicky Hayden. For the first half of the year, Erv and Max worked soul to soul, very productively both from a sporting and technical point of view. But then there was a split in the team. Biaggi began to have regular disputes with Japanese engineers about the need for changes to the prototype chassis. For the time being, it didn’t spill out. But after one of the races, Biaggi, right in the closed park after the finish, commenting on the outcome of the duel with Rossi, said that victory was impossible… because of the motorcycle: “This bike doesn’t work as it should,” he said, “and the team doesn’t support me, the engineers don’t do anything.” Later, talking to Italian journalists, Biaggi used the expression “bad motorcycle”.
His description was immediately brought to the HRC management. Kanazawa, who led Honda Racing, made a statement that “this bike was not created specifically for Biaji,” and that “if Biaji does not like it, then he will not ride it.” In November, after the final in Turkey, Repsol Honda unexpectedly announced the conclusion of a contract with GP250 champion Dani Pedrosa. Kanemoto refused to continue communicating with Biaggi, and HRC, through IRTA, obtained a ban on Biaggi from joining any other MotoGP team. And although Max enlisted the support of the Camel sponsor, he was unable to find a job in any championship team for 2006 and move to World Superbike, where he twice became champion with Aprilia Racing.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Remy Gardner made it clear that KTM’s unexpected refusal to renew his contract was due to his recent interview and “for unprofessional behavior, not for results.”