Gardner Remains Positive After Portimao After Claiming Season Best Finish
It was a weekend of both celebration and despair from Australia’s Remy Gardner [GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team], who claimed his best race finish of fourth place in Superpole. And while Race 2 was shaping up to be yet another strong finish for the Aussie, it ended in a mechanical heartbreak for the 25-year-old.
Gardner got off to a blistering start from P4 on the grid in Race 2, making his way into podium contention right from the moment the lights went out. He slotted himself nicely into 3rd place on the opening two laps, with Andrea Locatelli [Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK], Michael Ruben Rinaldi [Aruba.it Racing – Ducati], Iker Lecuona [Team HRC] and Garrett Gerloff [Bonovo Action BMW] following close behind.
Lap 3 saw Gardner relegated from 3rd to 5th, as he left the door open further allowing Rinaldi and Locatelli to come through. The relegation from to P5 clearly unsettling his rhythm, further seeing another pass by Honda’s Iker Lecuona.
It was then a tight battle between Gardner and Gerloff towards the end of Lap 3, that saw Gardner now battling to hold that 6th position, with Gerloff making that move on Gardner to take 6th place in Sector 1 of Lap 5.
While Gardner was able to sit comfortably in 7th place, saying he believed he had the position to continue fighting for his first Top 5 position in the feature length races. Unfortunately, it all came crumbling down on Lap 11 when his promising weekend came to an unfortunate end, sadly being forced to retire from the race due to a technical issue.
Remy Gardner: Weekend Recap
“Yeah it has been a great weekend up until the Race 2. I started P9 in Superpole and I knew we could have a good race, I had my laptime cancelled in qualifying so I knew I could go forward. I had a really good last two laps fighting with Michael and Iker and managed to get a fourth in the Superpole Race.”
“I was happy with that and used that as a springboard into Race 2 and we snuck into third for a bit, but I was missing a bit of pace when the tyre was newer and the guys did get away from me a little bit. I just started getting back into my rhythm and closed up on Iker a fair bit and I think I could have had a really good pace towards the end of the race, but then half way through unfortunately we had a technical problem and I had to retire from the race unfortunately. So, an unfortunate way to end but it has been a good weekend overall.”
“Like I’ve said before, from Donington onwards we really were starting again. I was really starting to get grips with the bike and what I need, having my crew chief understand me and what I need, and just get my head around these tyres a bit more. So you know, there is still a lot of work to do and a lot to learn but you know this is the aim of the second half of this season, to put together a strong end to the season so we can springboard into 2024 next year strong and have some really great results.”
Speaking of heading to the season finale round in Jerez, Gardner said: “I have done a million laps around Jerez, I’ve probably done more laps around Jerez than anywhere in the world. It’s obviously different on a Superbike. Like FP1 here [Portimao] I turned up way off the pace, so you know it will be a learning curve as well in Jerez and we will just focus to get FP1 out of the way and understand what I need to do and how I can go faster and build on that and our weekend. Most importantly, we have a test there on Tuesday and Wednesday so that will be extremely important for us and I think we have a few new things coming, so that will be good and I am looking forward to it.