Gardner was speaking after the post-season test at Jerez, the same venue that Rea is again testing at today.

Rea was in action for his third testing day aboard the Yamaha on Monday, and will conclude his second test today.

Gardner, who grew stronger with the R1 as his rookie season developed, finished just behind team-mate Dominique Aegerter in the standings.

It can’t be downplayed how big a difference Toprak Razgatlioglu made for Yamaha over the last few seasons, meaning his loss will inevitably be felt in some way.

However, Yamaha’s decision to go all out and secure another star rider should put them in position to be very competitive next year.

Gardner was keen to stress that having the six-time world champion in Yamaha’s ranks will do wonders for their project going forward.

“I spoke to Johnny and he seemed to be really happy with the bike,” Gardner told “It was quite easy to ride in his opinion and he hasn’t tried anything new yet because he needed two days to get used to the bike. 

“But already he was quite fast. Hopefully his experience can bring some improvements to the bike. It’s great to have Johnny at Yamaha and the experience he will bring will be incredible. 

“Also bringing a bit from Kawasaki will be nice. He seemed to really like the bike and that was positive in my eyes.”