Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Remy Gardner has more than one hand on the Moto2 championship after winning his fifth race of the year. 

Heading into Sunday’s race Gardner had a considerable gap of 18 points, but given the form of team-mate Raul Fernandez - who had beaten Gardner in four of the last six heading into Portimao - it’s a gap that was far safe.

During the race Fernandez slowly edged away from him in the first few laps, however, Gardner’s gamble to use the hard front tyre paid off in a huge way as he rapidly closed in on the Spaniard - laps seven and eight. 

Gardner, who was also passed by Marco Bezzecchi early on as both he and Fernandez had the soft front fitted, began to pull away towards the end of the race, while Fernandez came close to losing second to Sam Lowes - would have given Gardner the title had he lost out. 

The gap between Gardner and Fernandez with jusy this Valencia to come is 23 - only 25 points available.

Given what was at stake last time out, Gardner called the win his best of the year and that the tyre choice was key: "It was an incredible race for me today. It was an extremely difficult weekend - Raul’s [Fernandez] been really, really fast all weekend. 

"The tyre decision was also something we didn’t know (whether it would work), but we made the right decision, we went with the hard and we made it last the whole race. For me it’s the biggest win of the season."

While Gardner was fast throughout the weekend, albeit didn’t have the pace of Fernandez on equal tyres, the Australian was quite lucky to even be racing after suffering a huge day-one crash. 

Gardner was highsided after hitting the rear of a slightly slow Marcos Ramirez coming into the final corner in FP2, which left the soon-to-be MotoGP rider with very ‘sore ribs’. 

"I was confident in my team and myself to get this decision right and finally it paid off. I can’t complain," added Gardner. 

"Also, how I managed with the rib pain during the race, I don’t know how I did it. I’m sore now, I'll tell you that.

"It maybe wasn’t the best win (in terms of being fastest), but it was a lot of hard work and for me it was personally deserved."