Like teammate Dominique Aegerter, Gardner was one of the standouts from the second and final day of the official WorldSBK testing at Phillip Island. 

Race runs were the focus for the former MotoGP rider, and although Gardner was unable to complete a full feature length race simulation, the laps he did put together were strong. 

"It was a good day and a good way to finish the pre-season," said Gardner following Tuesday’s action. "We did our first race simulation, although not a full race simulation but we did plenty of laps without stopping. 

"It was good. Honestly, I was quite happy with the pace. I need to understand how to control the rear tyre a bit to have good pace at the end but I was quite happy. 

"We didn’t get to manage a really fast lap, just with some red flags and bad timing but this was not the goal of the test. I’m pretty confident."

Gardner finished FP2 fifth behind Andrea Locatelli but ahead of six-time world champion Jonathan Rea, while Aegerter was three tenths faster as he claimed second behind defending champion Alvaro Bautista

When looking at Gardner’s first pre-season as a WorldSBK rider, clear signs are there to suggest he will have a much more enjoyable and successful first season in the series compared to his rookie year in MotoGP.

And while he’s shown good pace in order for that sentiment to be shared, it’s the consistent improvements he's made on each opportunity he’s had to ride the R1 which has pleased the Australian the most. 

When assessing his pre-season, Gardner added: "Good! For me everyday, every time we start again it’s been a step. Even from the morning to the afternoon it’s a step. 

"The most important thing is that we’re moving forward and getting closer every time."