Remy Gardner joins WorldSBK grid for 2023 with GRT Yamaha
The 2021 Moto2™ World Champion will switch paddocks after his rookie season in MotoGP™ and will be bring Australian representation to the World Superbike family for 2023.
As the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship continues to deliver title twists, an abundance of rivalries and fallout, the 2023 grid is forming and a big name is coming to join the WorldSBK family. Australian Remy Gardner will switch from the MotoGP™ World Championship, where he’s been aboard the Tech 3 KTM RC16 for his rookie season and join the GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team.
The 2021 Moto2™ World Champion will look to hit the ground running, whilst returning the Australian flag to full-time WorldSBK competition for the first time since 2016.
DESTINED FOR SUCCESS: Gardner’s path to World Championship success
Gardner comes from a racing background, with father, Wayne, becoming a national hero in Australia by winning the 1987 500cc World Championship title, thus sparking a huge interesting in motorcycle racing in Australia. Born in 1998 in Sydney, Remy Gardner was always destined for success in motorcycle racing and in 2014, made his Moto3™ World Championship debut. He’d score a point in Malaysia at Sepang, his third race in the class. In 2015, he was signed full-time in Moto3™ but was only able to achieve one points-scoring ride in tenth at Phillip Island, his size working against him.
He moved to the Moto2™ European Championship in 2016, having missed out on graduation to the main Moto2™ World Championship after a team pulled out before the season started. Gardner would win a race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with that then bringing him back to the main World Championship and giving him a mid-season outing in the main Moto2™ class in Barcelona. He scored points on his debut and was kept for the rest of the season, getting three further points-scoring rides. In 2017, he took a first top ten in the class with ninth at Brno, whilst improved consistency came in 2018, with the last race of the season at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia bringing him a first top five of his career in Moto2™.
2019 saw Gardner show flashes of brilliance and a first podium came in Argentina, at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. It’d be his only podium of the year but a first pole at Assen and regularly inside the top ten showed his potential. 2020’s shortened season was another opportunity for Gardner to kick on in Moto2™, with four podiums and a career-first win at the end of the season bringing him sixth overall in the title.
2021 would be the year where the Gardner name returned to the top of the Championship standings, with outstanding consistency and five wins giving him the title over his teammate Raul Fernandez, who won eight races but was more inconsistent, suffering three DNFs. To underline Gardner’s consistency, from the 2020 French round to his crowning Valencian round of 2021, besides a DNF at Misano and a safe tenth in Valencia, was never outside the seven. His graduation to MotoGP™ in 2022 has brought four points-scoring finishes, but no top ten.
WELCOMED TO WorldSBK: Andrea Dosoli hails “exciting young talent” Gardner
Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager, welcomed Gardner into the family: “Remy is an exciting young talent, who boasts an impressive career inside the Grand Prix paddock. We are obviously delighted to have a rider on board who’s not only shown great progression but has experience at the top level of motorcycle racing. We believe that he is the perfect fit for Yamaha’s WorldSBK programme and are keen to see what he can do on one of our R1 WorldSBK machines. We’d also like to thank Garrett Gerloff for his commitment to Yamaha these past three seasons and we wish him all the best for the future.”
Team manager Filippo Conti likewise welcomed Gardner, and paid respect to Gerloff, who leaves the team at the end of the year: “We are delighted to welcome Remy to our team. He fits perfectly with our programme and is a top rider who has proven his abilities as a World Champion in the Grand Prix paddock. We strongly believe he will be a great asset for Yamaha and the GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team. At the same time, we would like to thank Garrett for the three years we have spent together. We are parting ways at the end of the season but highly respect him, so wish him all the best.”
GRT’S HISTORY: success in abundance, first win eludes in WorldSBK
The GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team graduated into World Superbike in 2019, having had success in WorldSSP, taking a title in 2017 with Lucas Mahias, whilst race wins followed in 2018. Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese were the riders in 2019, with Melandri taking them to three podiums, including in their first-ever race at Phillip Island, finishing as the top Yamaha.
For 2020, the Italian outfit opted for an all-rookie line-up of WorldSSP runner-up Federico Caricasulo and MotoAmerica race winner and double MotoAmerica Supersport champion Garrett Gerloff. In Barcelona, Gerloff took a first podium, before backing it up at Estoril, bringing the team plenty of success in the second half. In 2021, two more podiums followed for the American, whilst they welcomed Japanese champion Kohta Nozane to the team, with him getting top ten results. The line-up remained unchanged in 2022, although podiums – so far – haven’t been achieved.
THE OTHER SEAT: who will join Gardner at GRT?
Speaking about the second rider at GRT, Dosoli stated that it’s not settled: “It’s a big family. I’m glad that Toprak and Locatelli already have a contract that expires at the end of 2023 and now Remy is confirmed. Still, we have a few bikes available and we are working in order to secure the best possible rider. I’m excited because there are very talented guys out there, and there is a lot of interest in our teams and our machine. It’s a good moment for us. We will work together with the teams in order to secure the best guys. I cannot give you any names at the moment because, in the past, we have been promoting the best guy in WorldSSP and we are working in this direction.”
While there is currently strong representation of Australian’s in the 2021 Championship, such as WorldSSP competitors Oli Bayliss & Benjamin Currie, and Harry Khouri competing in the WorldSSP300 – it is an exciting prospect to have an Australian name joining the grid in the premier class.