The two young sons of World 500cc Motorcycle Champion Wayne Gardner conquered very separate milestones this Easter, at opposite ends of the globe.
Thirteen-year-old Remy has left a lasting impression after his first race at Parcmotor in Spain for the Campeonato Mediterráneo de Velocidad (CMV) on a detuned RMU 125cc machine.
Although a devastating machine failure caused him to DNF after only three laps, young Remy was leading from 12th place on the grid and looked like going all the way in a wet race. A broken gear shaft shattered his dreams of a solid finish in his first championship race of the season, but has without a doubt given him a huge confidence boost as he looks forward to the next race in May.
Remy showed his hand in the morning warm up session finishing fastest in the wet. They were tricky conditions for the 12-lap race, with rivers of water in some areas of a drying track.
The team opted to go with wet tyres and it started to rain again just as the race began. Remy shot from 12th to 3rd into the first corner. By the second lap his confidence was up and he was leading the race. At the beginning of lap three he started experiencing trouble and by half way through that lap he realised he’d have to come in.
Remy Gardner says: “I’m extremely disappointed. After the warm up session I was so happy and knew I could do well, so I can’t believe this happened.”
His proud father Wayne was philosophical.
Wayne Gardner says: “We came here for the experience and had very low expectations. Remy has really surprised us all. He qualified down the field after some telemetry issues, but I‘ve been blown away by what he achieved here during a two-day test session we had last week, and over the three days of this weekend’s race meeting.
“His style is completely different to the Europeans – I might be biased but I think he was the smoothest rider out there. He looks like he’s really connected to the bike!
“The Monlau team director Emilio Alzamora said he believes that with a few more miles under his belt and a bit more experience Remy can be winning much sooner than any of us expected.”
The next race will be at Alcarras in Spain on 20-22 May. Remy won’t have any pre-testing time at the circuit before this race, presenting another challenge for him to learn the track during one day of practice on the Friday, but it’s a challenge Wayne believes he can handle.
Wayne Gardner says: “Remy can’t wait to get back here again to meet the next opportunity head on.”
The first three riders taking home honours at Parcmotor today were 1st Marcos Ramirez Fernandez (Spain); 2nd David Sanchis Matinez (Spain); and 3rd Robin Anne (Belgium).
On the other side of the world Remy’s 11-year old brother Luca took 3rd place at the first National Motorcycle Road Race Development Association (MRRDA) event for the year at Mac Park in Mount Gambier, South Australia on his Moriwaki, in the Nippers 70cc class.
With the help of respected Australian engineer and former racer Tony Hatton, Luca’s first ever road race event couldn’t have gone more smoothly.
Luca got faster and more aggressive as the weekend went on and was mixing it with kids older and on bigger capacity machines in the same race (scored separately).
Luca Gardner says: “I wish I could go and race again tomorrow. Road racing is so much fun and I can’t wait to race again as soon as possible!”
Although Luca qualified 3rd in his class he was on track with 80cc 2-stroke and 150cc 4-strokes and physically placed 10th on the grid for the four races of five laps each. He struggled with starts throughout the weekend and admitted it’s something he needs to work on, but his slow starts gave him the opportunity to claw back places on track and really experience race conditions.
Luca Gardner says: “It’s a bit boring when you’re just on your own on the track, but it is SO MUCH FUN when you’re overtaking guys and trying to catch up to them.”
At the end of the first day Luca was in equal 2nd with fellow NSW dirt tracker Lawson Walters, but the more experienced Walters took the lead after race three, leaving Luca very happy to finish on the podium at the end of the weekend.
The first person Luca wanted to talk to at the end of the day was Dad, and he couldn’t be more excited for his youngest son.
Wayne Gardner says: “Luca has been training on the road with Remy for the past few years but this has been the first chance he’s had to race on the tar and I couldn’t be prouder of what he’s achieved this weekend. He’s had to do it without me there, which is a huge call, and only makes more me confident of his determination to make a go for himself in this sport. From what I can tell he’s completely fallen in love with it and I have no doubt he’ll be snapping at Remy’s heels in the not too distant future.”
Those finishing in front of Luca at in the MRRDA Nippers 70cc class this weekend were Troy Guenther in 1st, and Lawson Walters in second.