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From Hero to Zero: the (bad) story of Gardner and Fernandez

Remy and Raul are only the last two young riders ruined by (bad) management of the MotoGP satellite teams, subject to the manufacturers, in the race towards the premier class. Let's add Darryn Binder and try and understand what is wrong in the MotoGP circus that does not protect or advance its champions

From Hero to Zero: the (bad) story of Gardner and Fernandez

Come on, let's throw another one on the bonfire, what’s all the fuss about?

This seems to be the lowest common denominator of the current MotoGP management. Made up, let’s remember, of teams that lie outside the official manufacturers, who are not really real teams, starting with the management of their riders, who don’t get to decide anything, entrusting their retainers to the parent companies.

After all, this is the result of the more general management of the entire Circus, which rests entirely on the shoulders of Dorna which guarantees payment for the motorcycles. So the so-called satellite teams - at different levels, fortunately - just have to cover the running costs: Hospitality, technicians, mechanics, travel. All the rest is in the hands of Dorna, who pays for the bikes - directly to the manufacturers, we ought to underline - and to the factories that hire their favourite riders, 'parking' them in their substructures.

One example. Yesterday the Austrian GP took place which, irrespective of what happened on the track, offered us an image of what is happening in the paddock where three early careers are about to be lost. To the certainty that Darryn Binder, currently in the WithU Yamaha team, will have to look for a place in Moto2, was added Remy Gardner who together with Raul Fernandez made up the rookie squad in the Tech3 team.

KTM to Moto2 World Champion Remy Gardner: you are free


The son of the great Wayne, 500cc world champion in 1987, was in fact informed yesterday that even if Miguel Oliveira, already optioned by Aprilia for the satellite team, doesn’t accept the offer of KTM which will rebrand the French team with GasGas livery, can consider himself a free agent. After just one year, with a Moto2 world title behind him and without having had the opportunity, with a scarcely competitive bike, to prove his worth.

That’s the same fate, but with a different beginning, as Darryn Binder who without having exactly set the world on fire in Moto3 at the end of 2021 was then offered a place in the team in MotoGP alongside Dovizioso for the sole reason of having a contract already signed for the Moto2 team, which was later closed down by Petronas.


Fernandez, Moto2 runner-up, here in Austria in front of Andrea Dovizioso

The only logic of the Circus so far has been a senseless race towards MotoGP

Perhaps only Raul Fernandez, who to break his contract with KTM will have to resign himself to paying a penalty, will fall on his feet, but the considerations made above do not change.

With this young rider 'policy', where until now the only logic has been a senseless race from the lower categories towards MotoGP, we mustn’t complain if the premier class of motorcycling has no real characters. In fact, to become one a rider must be able to show character, not only on the track. One thing that battery-reared chickens such as many of the riders in the lower categories cannot afford to do. And without character you don't become a personality. Unless you are reduced to having beautiful colours on your helmet and leathers and a race number that you really do not want to give up, even if you have never reached any important milestones in your career.

Currently Darryn Binder, Gardner and Fernandez have, respectively, 10, 9 and 5 points and are third from last, penultimate and last in the MotoGP world championship if we exclude from the standings Bradl, Pirro and Savadori who compete in the role of test riders.

Are Gardner, Fernandez and Darryn Binder so scarce? Maybe less than they seem


Are these three so scarce? And if so, why do they compete in the premier class which currently has a 'very high level', as they continue to say, even though they haven’t turned up with the well-known ‘suitcase’? There is also the example of Iker Lecuona, dumped by KTM who is now doing better than Bautista did with Honda in Superbike.

Might it not be that they had the sheer bad luck to end up in teams that were not very or not at all competitive? We bet on this second option.

The only positive side of the current situation, also determined by Suzuki’s unfortunate exit, is that perhaps there will probably not be any rookies in 2023. Unless HRC decides to replace Nakagami with Ogura or Chantra in the LCR team.

This will allow the survivors to gain some experience. A difficult result to achieve in a sport that has foolishly raced towards the Star System without having the status, on the shoulders of great champions and authentic vanished champions who have lost their benchmarks in MotoGP. There is simply hardly anyone to cheer on today and spectators go to the Grand Prix for this reason.

If even Fabio Quartararo is anxiously awaiting the return of Marc Marquez to be able to 'weigh in' against him, then what are we talking about?

If we really wanted to do the premier class a favour, we should help the growth of the teams, leaving only the supply of engines free. It’s true, performance would be less levelled out, but what does that matter?


*** However, yesterday at the Red Bull Ring the top 10 finished within 17 seconds, which is the time that more or less separated the top ten in 2000 when there were still 500 2Ts. ***

Before, a talented private rider could think about making a career with a private Suzuki, just think of Franco Uncini 4th overall in the world championship in 1989. Today a two-time world champion like Alex Marquez finished 14th at almost +27” with Honda. And Vinales, third at Silverstone, was only 13th at +20” behind the winner. We also continue to say that this is the most competitive MotoGP ever, and that the rider in motorcycling still makes the difference. That many factory bikes are needed to equalize the grid, when we know perfectly well that with the increase in complications, the team (and the factory team with its support) will make a difference. We continue to kid ourselves. To lose young riders. To have no personalities. The Anglo-Saxons say: from Zero to Hero. MotoGP works in reverse: from Hero to Zero! So why should I cheer on a rider who is a hero one week and a zero the next?

(In the photo, for those who do not recognize him, Remy Gardner, the outgoing Moto2 world champion whose career is at risk after a season on the KTM of the Tech3 satellite team, in which not even the Moto2 world runner-up and his former teammate Raul Fernandez who last year was seen as a rising star shone brightly. The two in 2021 collected 13 wins and 24 podiums out of 18 GPs overall)


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