None of the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing drivers who joined MotoGP in 2022 will continue working with KTM next season: now it has become known for sure that Remy Gardner is overboard, and Raul Fernandez will give up the second half of his fee to move to RNF Aprilia next year.
Remy Gardner has confirmed that he has lost his contract in MotoGP for the next year: he failed to keep his place in Tech3 due to the fact that the French satellite KTM is dressing up in the “factory” colors of GasGas. For this venture, Mattighofen intends to regain the trust of Miguel Olivera by signing a new contract with him. The only available space in the KTM garages in MotoGP is that of Gardner, who did not become a new outstanding discovery in the championship. But if the idea of creating a new pseudo-factory garage had not arisen, Gardner would most likely have retained his place in Tech3.
Further, the rumors that Raul Fernandez will not be able to leave Tech3 for the sake of joining another manufacturer’s team without a substantial buyout have been fully confirmed.
First, this was confirmed by the boss of KTM Factory Racing, Pete Bayer, then by the owner of Pierer Mobility AG, Stefan Pire. Bayer explained the reason why KTM is not going to just let Raul Fernandez go to RNF Aprilia: it turned out that just before Fernandez announced his intention to run away, KTM Factory Racing extended his contract for 2023.
Pete Bayer did not specify that it was in Jerez that he intended to transfer the extended contract to Raul and his manager. But it was there, at the Spanish Grand Prix, that the crisis in their relationship occurred. Apparently, Fernandez’s manager, Paco Sanchez, seeing the amount in the new contract, completely lost his temper, because, after the race, Raul told Bayer that he refused to continue working with KTM. After Jerez, Sanchez started looking for a new place for Raul.
Bayer and Pire considered the cancellation of an essentially automatically extended contract a personal insult. Plus, after that, Sanchez launched a campaign in the press to discredit KTM as an employer. As a result, by the beginning of the summer holidays, all bridges between the parties were burned. And according to the contract, KTM Factory Racing requested a penalty from its pilot.
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Earlier, different figures flashed how much Aprilia would have to pay for Raul so that he could move to their camp – from 1 million euros. But in the end, the parties agreed otherwise.
Fernandes will refuse the second half of the fee for the 2022 season, which will amount to 300 thousand euros – this is 50% of his contract, but he will get freedom: KTM will not prevent his transfer to any other team through IRTA.
This is one of the toughest breaks in the relationship between the team and the driver since 2006, when Honda Racing, having fired Max Biaggi, then blocked his access to the paddock through IRTA: no team of the Association could hire the Italian. After 2006, the factory managers agreed among themselves on compensation for the pilot, but it was always carried out quietly and cleanly.