World champ Gardner follows dad Wayne

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Remy Gardner can hardly believe how he's ridden out of the shadow of his proud dad Wayne and straight into motorcycle racing history.

On an emotional afternoon at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo track on Sunday, the Australian pair were able to share an embrace over a triumph which made them only the second father and son duo ever to both win world motorcycle racing crowns after Americans Kenny Roberts Senior and Junior.

Yet after sealing the 2021 Moto2 Championship on a nervy afternoon when he produced his most cautious performance of the season to finish 10th, knowing it would be enough for an overall season's victory, the 23-year-old Gardner admitted there'd been times he felt it would never happen.

"There's definitely been some hard years," said Gardner who's had his struggles with injuries, uncompetitive machinery and having to live up to the reputation of his father, world 500cc champ back in 1987.

"But last year I really managed to get my mind under control which then led to everything kind of falling into place," added the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider.

"I just tried to keep positive about everything. From 2015 to 2019, they were some really tough years for me and even some points where I honestly believed that it was the end of the road.

"Especially after the injuries - just fighting through that was incredibly difficult."

Gardner is the first Australian motorcycle racer since Casey Stoner, who won the premier MotoGP class in 2011, to lift a world title in a decade, and the first to win this particular intermediate class since Kel Carruthers in 1969.

Stoner, commentating for BT Sport, saluted him, saying: "Remy's been through a hell of a lot the last few years - he's had his critics and I myself wasn't sure where his talent levels were.

"But once you get with the right team and get the right people around you, he was really able to show what he's capable of and his season's been outstanding."

But Gardner had to endure a nerve-wracking afternoon, knowing that if his brilliant teammate Raul Fernandez won the race and he finished outside the top 13, then the title would go to the Spaniard.

First, the race had to be restarted after Gardner narrowly avoided a first-lap crash which took out three riders.

Then Fernandez put more pressure on by hitting the front with four laps left and riding to victory after Gardner had dipped as low as 11th after seven laps.

Yet with dad Wayne watching nervously at trackside and Stoner biting his nails, Gardner did what was required.

"I can't believe it. So many years of suffering, so many points in my career I just thought I'm not good enough, not going to make it, but I've made it happen, it's a dream come true," said the emotional Sydneysider.

It was the perfect way to bow out of Moto2 for Gardner, who makes the step up to MotoGP next season, having signed with the Tech3 KTM factory racing team along with the even more highly rated 21-year-old rookie Fernandez.

Gardner won five races and was also second six times in his stellar season, but saw his lead whittled down to just four points in the end by the relentless Spaniard.

"Raul really put it to me," conceded Gardner.

"There were times where I would finish second and think it was a bad day. What an amazing but intense season."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting