Gardner, Fernandez play down heated argument; ‘normal headbutts in the team’

Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez have played down their heated exchange which took place after qualifying for the German MotoGP; ‘I spoke to him; he was angry at first but now we’re okay. I never want to disturb anyone on purpose’ - Gardner.
Raul Fernandez, KTM MotoGP Sachsenring
Raul Fernandez, KTM MotoGP Sachsenring

During Q1 the two MotoGP rookies were together on track, with the reigning Moto2 champion deciding to put a late move on the Spaniard heading into turn one, an overtake that cost both riders dearly. 

While it was a clean overtake from Gardner, the compromised line heading into turn one cost him two tenths even though he pushed on and set his fastest lap.

For Fernandez, the disgruntled Tech 3 KTM rider was inevitably pushed wide, resulting in him having to abandon his time-attack effort. 

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Once both riders returned to pit lane having failed to advance into Q2 for the tenth time this season, Fernandez approached Gardner’s side of the garage as an argument ensued.

But after taking time to reflect on the incident, Fernandez stressed no harm was done.

"It’s nothing serious. In the end we tried to do the best but it was nothing important, honestly," Fernandez told "We tried to push and he [Gardner] was in the middle [of the circuit] and it was chaos. 

"It was not just with Remy but all riders were playing like in Moto3. But this can happen so don’t worry."

‘I may have disturbed him’ - Gardner 

While Gardner was quick to defend his decision to make an overtake on Fernandez, the former Moto2 rider felt Fernandez played his part after squeezing him into turn one.

Remy Gardner, German MotoGP, 18 June
Remy Gardner, German MotoGP, 18 June

Gardner said: "I didn’t actually see that he was on a fast lap. Because everyone was sat up and it was difficult to find a spot to go and it was difficult to see who was going fast and who was sitting up. 

"I think, in the end I may have disturbed him, but anyway, I spoke to him; he was angry at first but now we’re okay. 

"I never want to disturb anyone on purpose but it was just difficult to find a spot. Also him in the first corner… He was squeezing me out and I lost my first sector. 

"I lost two tenths in the first sector even though it was my best lap. Anyway, that’s normal headbutts in the team." 

MotoGP proving tough for the two rookies…

Aside from the pair’s heated exchange, both Gardner and Fernandez are struggling to make consistent improvements, while other rookies such as Fabio Di Giannantonio and Marco Bezzecchi are greatly out-performing the two. 

Gardner was over seven tenths off the time he needed in order to advance through to Q2, while Fernandez, who is hoping to leave KTM at the end of the season, was a full second away.

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