The Australian, son of 1987 500cc world champion Wayne Gardner, had admitted his premier-class future was suddenly looking very bleak at the end of the recent Red Bull Ring event.

Upon arrival at Misano on Thursday, Gardner confirmed he now has to try and salvage something outside of the premier class for 2023:

“Nothing is clear at the moment… But I’m not going to be in MotoGP.”

Gardner: 'KTM said I was not professional enough'

The news that KTM was not going to take up its option on Gardner had been delivered to the shocked 24-year-old on Saturday in Austria.

“Wasn't expecting it to be honest. I've always given 100% and unfortunately I don't think it was good enough,” he said.

Asked about the reason given by KTM for its decision, Gardner replied: “They said I was not professional enough.” No examples were given for that verdict.

With team-mate and fellow rookie Raul Fernandez leaving for RNF Aprilia, Gardner’s place alongside new signing Pol Espargaro had looked safe.

That was also Gardner's impression.

“The feeling was and the impression was, yeah, we should continue and in Austria we’ll get it done… I don't know, I'm just as confused [by it].”

The first public signs that Gardner was in trouble came when Pit Beirer revealed on Friday at the Red Bull Ring that the factory would make another late bid to try and keep Miguel Oliveira, to join the returning Espargaro.

But even before the Portuguese had made his final decision, ultimately turning down the GASGAS offer and signing for RNF Aprilia, Gardner had been informed he was out.

“I felt like I always gave my 100% for them [KTM]. My intention was to stay here and give my best and honestly, they've broken my heart," Gardner said.

“I felt like maybe there's not an appreciation for the [Moto2] world championship I brought them as well.

“I was just giving my best all the time and I guess it wasn't good enough.

“Anyway, I'm just going to continue giving my 100%, but for nobody except myself and obviously the people who work with me.”

Gardner: 'Enjoy what's left of my MotoGP career'

Gardner has scored 9 points so far this season with 5 for Fernandez. A best race result of 11th for Gardner compares with 12th for Fernandez.

While factory KTM riders Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder have 85 and 107 points respectively, Gardner feels he has not been far from the pair in terms of the lap time and data analysis.

“I think it hasn't been a disaster. I mean, if you have a look at the times and everything and how close I am to the factory guys usually," he said. “It’s still my first year! It's Miguel's fourth year in MotoGP...

"I honestly think it was not bad and honestly it was positive vibes from them [KTM]. But yeah, we got to Austria and it’s basically ‘you're out’.

“They’ve told me extremely late… They've really screwed me over here, to be honest, for finding a seat for next year.

"So it's left me in a bit of a crappy position."

Gardner: 'It sucks. But what are you going to do?'

“It sucks. But what are you going to do? There are a few races left so you can just go out, do your best and enjoy what's left of my MotoGP career.

“It's definitely hard to take. After fighting so many years and with a lot of injuries and fighting with not maybe the best machinery and then finally managed to actually kick a goal and win a championship… To just have only one year in MotoGP breaks my heart.

“I just feel a little bit deceived by the world of motorcycles at the moment. That's why I'm not really sure even what I want to do next year.”

But Gardner, now being linked with a possible return to Moto2 or switch to WorldSBK, confirmed he will race somewhere next season.

“It just hurts more that they've left me out in the street, basically, at this time when there are no rides left.

“Obviously I want to try and find a good ride for next year. Keep racing for sure.

“I do have a few offers to stay in this paddock, obviously not in MotoGP, but we'll have to see.”

Augusto Fernandez, who joined the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team after Gardner and Fernandez moved to MotoGP, is now tipped to partner Pol Espargaro at Tech3 in 2023.

The only other MotoGP seats still to be officially confirmed are at VR46 Ducati, which will keep both Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, plus the remaining LCR Honda ride, set to go to either Takaaki Nakagami or Ai Ogura.

Meanwhile, Gardner is not the only MotoGP rookie out of a ride with RNF's Darryn Binder also looking at Moto2 for next year.

But while Binder skipped the intermediate class and jumped straight from Moto3, Gardner has already spent six seasons in Moto2.