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No seat for Aussie at Tech3 GasGas but Joel Kelso confirms a 2023 Moto3 contract.

There are mixed fortunes for Australia’s rookie world championship riders with reigning Moto2 world champ Remy Gardner revealing KTM management has informed him it no longer requires his services, while Moto3 rider Joel Kelso says he’s already struck a deal to remain in the quarter-litre class.

Joel Kelso, Moto3, Austrian MotoGP, 20 August 2022

The 18-year-old rider from Darwin is remaining tight-lipped about his destination within the Moto3 category, but told AMCN’s MotoGP reporter Neil Morrison that it’ll be with a leading team.

“I can’t say anything [yet] but I’m confident I’ll be here in the paddock again next year. I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

Remy Gardner, MotoGP, Austrian MotoGP, 20 August 2022

Conversely, Tech3 KTM rider Gardner was clearly downbeat after the Austrian race.

“In MotoGP, it doesn’t look like there’s anything (for me next year),” he said. “KTM’s done it again.”
While Gardner’s results have fallen below expectations in 2022, he is far from alone. The Australian is comfortably outperforming teammate Raul Fernandez by four points. Also, all of KTM’s contenders have struggled this year on an RC16 that has been far from competitive.

Yet rather than performances, it appears comments regarding the bike are what turned KTM bosses against the 24-year old. A particular line from the French GP – “If a tornado wants to rip up the track and we go home early that’d be good” – which underlined the uncompetitive nature of the bike did not go down well with KTM CEO Stefan Pierer, according to one factory insider.

It was that weekend when personal manager Paco Sanchez had also decried the contracts KTM offered some of its riders. Again, this was not appreciated by the Austrian top brass. While he has offers to move back to Moto2, it appears that is currently not of interest to Gardner.

Instead, KTM has made retaining Miguel Oliveira its priority. The Austrian factory has made a last-ditch offer, with a three-year contract and improved salary now on the table. Oliveira’s nose was put out of joint by KTM’s signing of Aussie Jack Miller to the factory team. A move to RNF Aprilia has long been touted. If that comes off, Moto2 contender Augusto Fernandez will step up to Tech3 GasGas.