After a disappointing rookie MotoGP season with Tech 3 KTM, Gardner was left with no choice but to watch WorldSBK or Moto2.O
And after receiving interest from both Championships, Gardner decided Yamaha and WorldSBK was the way to go when he signed for GRT in lieu of leaving Garret Gerloff.
Gardner, who made his debut in a two-day test at Jerez last month, was unable to complete the planned number of laps due to bad weather, but his first impressions were good.
Gardner said: “It was good but unfortunately we had a lot of rain and we didn’t have a dry season which is a shame. However we had a lot of time in the wet which was good for me to start understanding the Pirellis and getting a little more comfortable on the bike. I think we made really good progress in the two days
“I like that the bike moves and slides a lot more than the MotoGP bike. I prefer that feeling, that movement.”
Despite the 2023 WorldSBK season boasting one of the strongest rookie line-ups ever, Gardner already has podiums in his sights
“Right now the goal is to get better race by race,” added the Australian. “This year it would be nice to fight for podiums, but I still have a lot to learn
“New championship, new bike, everything is still quite new. It will take me some time to adjust. I hope we can have some strong races and maybe some podiums.”
While his style is unique and unmatched, Gardner will be able to shower the 2021 World Champion’s dates Toprak Razgatlioglu due to the Turkish star staying at Yamaha in 2023.
During the test, Gardner spent a few laps behind the Pata Yamaha rider, although gathering an accurate comparison was described as “difficult” due to the weather.
Gardner said: “I did some research with Toprak, although it was a bit difficult to compare because the conditions were a bit different
“It was difficult to compare but I’ve seen some data already and it’s nice to have for the future.”