Francesco Bagnaia held off his future factory team-mate Enea Bastianini by just 0.034s during an all-Italian showdown in Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix.

But with Bagnaia now second in the world championship, will team orders prevent such all-Ducati battles in future?

Joining Bagnaia and Bastianini on the podium was Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales, confirming his upward trend on the RS-GP.

Meanwhile, it was a subdued race for world championship leader Fabio Quartararo and Vinales’ team-mate Aleix Espargaro, who crossed the line fifth and sixth.

While the on-track drama went down to the chequered flag, the off-track controversy began on Thursday, when rookie and reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner confirmed he had been dropped by KTM for 2023 and is thus out of MotoGP after just a single season.

The reason given by KTM, according to Gardner, was “he had not been professional enough”. KTM motorsport director Pit Beirer insisted he had no knowledge of such words but did hint at needing riders that fully believed in the factory’s MotoGP project.

“I'm going to get on my soapbox and have a little bit of a controversial rant: What the hell happened between KTM and Remy Gardner?” said former grand prix rider and British champion Huewen.

“You can read on social media that Wayne Gardner, dad of Remy, is off on one at the moment over this. I don’t blame him, being a dad myself.

"But even if you've got a [rider] manager that may have upset the management at KTM, who needs to be the bigger person in this? The bigger company in this?

“Where are KTM and their management, calming this down so they're getting the best out of their current Moto2 world champion, who has been with them in MotoGP for just seven months?

“Are they allowing this to get under their skin to the point where we are talking about accusations of their rider, or his management, being unprofessional? Somebody needed to be the bigger person in the KTM corner here and take control of this.

“Riders say things in the heat of the moment - that's perfectly normal. Michael Laverty’s [VisionTrack Honda Moto3] riders were a bit grumpy at Silverstone and they made it known to the press.

“And Michael basically said, 'we want riders to be forthright. We understand sometimes emotions get ahead of you and you say things you shouldn't. But it's up to me to manage that gap between what they're saying and the corporate side of the team'.

“So the might of KTM, with the kind of talent they've got in a managerial situation, in my view - and it's only my view, I'd be interested to hear what everybody at home thinks - I feel that KTM have a certain percentage of blame for not managing the situation as well as they should as a corporation and a team."

KTM denied calling Gardner ‘not professional enough’

Crash.net MotoGP editor Peter McLaren added: “Simon Crafar did a good interview with Pit Beirer at Misano, asking him about all this, and Pit insisted the KTM management hadn’t told Gardner he was ‘not professional enough’. So who exactly said what, we don’t know.

“Pit also said that there had been an option on Remy’s contract that wasn’t taken up by KTM in June, therefore implying that Remy and his manager shouldn’t have been shocked to find there was no ride for next year.

“But option or not, Remy clearly believed the relationship with KTM was going to continue and there must have been a chance of that otherwise there would have been no need to inform him of their decision on Saturday in Austria.

“And now it’s too late to find something else, which also seemed to be what Remy is particularly upset about.”

Keith Huewen said: “We all know KTM jump really quick. Look at what happened with Johann Zarco. They’re ruthless, and that’s how it should be. This is a cutting-edge business for all parties.

“Remy’s manager Paco Sanchez, who also manages Joan Mir, is not an idiot and I can’t believe he would have put Remy in a position where he allowed an option to disappear off the table and had no backup plan.

"There’s more to this story behind the scenes, but I think KTM have taken a very ruthless line with Remy Gardner.

“It doesn't really matter what he said or how he feels, riders speak their minds and he needs his knuckles wrapped if that's been the case. But it's down to the management of the team to fix that situation. And if they don't agree with his manager over the way he's negotiating with KTM, then that's a get-around-the-table type of thing.

“These guys are professionals. I don't understand how it got to this stage without people talking and remedying whatever the problem is. It just seems ludicrous to me.

“Whatever the situation with Remy and his manager, I still contend that KTM should have been the bigger party in this, got control of the negotiations, got control of the circumstances and made something better of it than they did.

“Remy could find himself in great trouble now. It’s a shame, he’s a good kid.”

Red Bull KTM Ajo's Moto2 title leader Augusto Fernandez is the rider expected to take Gardner's place alongside Pol Espargaro next year.

Marc Marquez returns, Kalex swingarms at Repsol Honda?

As well as a recap of the Misano Moto2 and Moto3 races, Podcast host Harry Benjamin then brought up the findings of the recent MotoGP fan survey, before looking ahead to this week’s test and the return of Marc Marquez.

While Marquez’s comeback will be the big news on Tuesday, the test will also see plenty of technical updates for this season and beyond.

“I had a Whatsapp message this morning from Gunther Wiesinger of Speedweek.com, he’s got a good scoop on Kalex building swingarms for Repsol Honda,” McLaren said.

“It’s hard to underestimate how big a move that is by HRC, they do everything in-house. It just shows the scale of the situation they are currently in with their MotoGP project.

“So look out for some aluminium swingarms appearing on the Hondas at the test, instead of the usual carbon fibre ones.”

Honda switched from aluminium to carbon fibre swingarms during 2018.

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