MotoGP

Gardner, Fernandez to test KTM MotoGP bike at Misano

KTM has overhauled its line-up at the Tech3 squad for 2021, with Iker Lecuona and Danilo Petrucci being moved aside to make way for current Moto2 championship leaders Gardner and Fernandez.

Gardner currently leads his rookie team-mate Fernandez at Ajo Motorsport by 39 points in the Moto2 standings, with the latter winning last weekend’s Aragon Grand Prix.

MotoGP will race at Misano for the first of two grands prix at the venue this year this coming weekend, with the paddock staying behind for two days of official in-season testing on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

Autosport has learned both Gardner and Fernandez will get their first taste of KTM MotoGP machinery at this test.

While it is understood the VR46 team will confirm Marco Bezzecchi’s promotion from Moto2 to MotoGP during the Misano weekend, he is not currently due to make a test appearance on the satellite Ducati.

KTM has also since confirmed Dani Pedrosa’s scheduled wildcard for the San Marino GP has been withdrawn.

Dani Pedrosa, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Dani Pedrosa, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The 31-time MotoGP race-winner was due to make a second race appearance in 2021 having contested the Austrian Grand Prix, but will just ride in the Misano test instead.

Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow confirmed last weekend that he will not be present at the Misano test and will instead carry out private running at Aragon at the end of the month on a 2022 prototype M1.

During the Aragon weekend, Autosport confirmed outgoing Tech3 rider Lecuona will move to World Superbikes in 2022 having agreed a deal with Honda.

His current Tech3 team-mate Petrucci has also agreed a deal with KTM to contest the Dakar Rally next season, having told Autosport back in June that he was eyeing a rallying switch should he lose his place in MotoGP.

At Misano this weekend, Petronas SRT will announce its new structure for 2022 in the wake of the Sepang Racing Team’s withdrawal from MotoGP at the end of 2021.

Andrea Dovizioso will mark his MotoGP return at Misano with SRT to replace Franco Morbidelli, who will line up at the factory Yamaha squad in place of Maverick Vinales.

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