Moto2 champion and MotoGP rookie Remy Gardner has started 2022 as he finished 2021, carrying an injury.

The Australian rode with rib damage during the crucial final rounds of the Moto2 season, where he held off team-mate Raul Fernandez by just four points, then the official MotoGP test at Jerez.

But scans carried out after that test revealed that Gardner had been riding with two broken ribs!

"The ribs happened in the crash at Portimao on Friday. I didn't actually get any scans done until after the [MotoGP] testing. I honestly didn't really want to know! I just wanted to put it out of my brain," Gardner said on Sunday, ahead of the Sepang Shakedown test.

"Then riding the MotoGP bike, I think pretty much the second or third exit, I was changing direction and once again it just went 'bang!' and something cracked again. Took my breath away. That was on the first day.

"So the ribs were really sore and then on Monday after the test I went to get a CT scan and I had the 10th and 11th rib completely broken. So that was from Portugal. And then basically raced Portugal, won, raced Valencia, plus the testing with two broken ribs. Luckily, they weren't displaced. But they were broken!"

Unfortunately for the new Tech3 KTM rider, 2022 has started with another injury, this time during motocross training – fracturing his right wrist without even falling from the bike.

"I was just riding some motocross, trying to do my training and get prepared. And basically I didn't crash, as I came down (from a jump) on the front of the bike a little bit more I just bottomed the forks, because I ran them quite soft," Gardner explained.

"I just had my wrist in a bit of a weird position when it bottomed and I just felt it 'crack' as soon as it hit the bottom. I moved [the wrist] around and 'oh f**k, that's broken'. So not good! Anyway, shit happens!

"It's the radius bone. The big one basically. Just the end of it," he added. "It's pretty much a straight break, really clean and just the tip has kind of broken off. Didn't displace or anything.

"So basically they've just gone in and put two screws in sideways to fix it in place. In theory nothing can move but still all the soft tissue and everything is still quite tender. Even my forearm, because it did swell up quite a lot and there was a lot of stress around that area."

The injury means Gardner might have to moderate his laps during the upcoming three day Shakedown, which is followed almost immediately by the two-day Official test on February 5-6.

"It's not going to be easy, it was only 13 days ago that I got the operation," he said. "I've been trying to do as much physio as possible to get ready. It's going to be hard, but we're going to try and maybe do short runs.

"We've got lots of days, lots of testing. We don’t want to do any more damage and make it worse for the future. We'll take it as it comes and just see how I feel first on the bike. We're going to try for sure."

Despite the rib injuries, Gardner had been just two-tenths behind fastest rookie Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati) at the Jerez test.

"Honestly I didn't feel too bad even in Jerez with those ribs," he confirmed. "I was compensating a lot with my right side because I couldn't push a lot on my left side. But even so I was doing a few laps, runs of 8-9-10 laps and felt pretty okay to be honest,

"For sure, it's a different story when you are doing 25 but we'll have to see and here in Malaysia I'll maybe not do a race distance just yet. First, I want to see how this bad boy [wrist] is going."

Aside from the physical aspect, Gardner expects to be trying some electronic changes on the RC16 after his experience at Jerez.

"The bike will be pretty much the same as we tried in Jerez. I quite liked it to be honest so I'm not too fussed," he said. "There's a few things to try. I think the test team are doing more parts trial-and-error these days than us. I think it's more we get to grips with the bike, wake up a little bit.

"I personally felt we needed to work a lot on the electronics from last test and so I gave the guys lots of homework over the winter to come prepared with some new stuff with traction control and a few things like that. And honestly more than anything, see how I feel on the bike.

"There's a lot to learn but every time you get on the big bike you start to relax a bit more, get a bit looser and everything flows a bit better."

Helping both Gardner and Fernandez adapt to the premier-class will be KTM's star test rider and 31 time MotoGP race winner Dani Pedrosa.

"Dani was in Jerez. It was nice to have him [watching] out on track and he definitely gave me some tips of how to ride a big bike," said Gardner. "It gives you a lot of confidence to know you've got such a great rider developing the bike and it'll be good to get his opinion on these new parts for the next three days in Malaysia.

"Maybe I'll also be lucky enough to follow him around for a few laps and copy what he's doing. It's great to have Dani in the team."

Gardner's goal for the season is to fight for top rookie honours, but he's determined not to try and run before he can walk.

"The approach to this season is really step-by-step, there's a lot of riding to do this year and really just not go to crazy to get over-enthusiastic," Gardner explained.

"We've seen rookies in the past have some pretty big shunts and hurt themselves. So for me it's really take it step=by-step, there's a lot of days, a lot of riding.

"My goal would be to try and fight for the rookie of the year. But again it's going to be a long year, there's a lot to learn with these bikes and the crashes are pretty big because we're going a lot faster!

"So feet on the ground and nice and relaxed…"

The Sepang Shakedown test, open to test riders, rookies and concession manufacturer Aprilia, takes place from January 31- February 2.