Remy Gardner’s debut Moto 3 GP at Misano, Italy was as challenging as expected, but the sixteen year old rider walked away from the weekend with a solid finish in twenty-seventh, and a wealth of experience.
Qualifying in thirty-third was further back down the grid than he’d hoped to start from, but a lack of bike and track knowledge, coupled with rain and equipment failure in the free practice sessions put him on the back foot to start.
Remy was invited at the last minute to replace the injured Moto 3 rider Luca Grunwald at the San Marino GP in Italy this weekend. It was a snap decision, and a real gift after Remy’s horrific crash last weekend at Navarra in the FIM CEV Repsol. “I’m so appreciative that Kiefer Racing offered me this incredible opportunity to ride at my first GP. It’s been a dream come true for me, and even though things weren’t perfect, I know how lucky I am to have been given this chance to get more experience on another level,” said Remy.
All eyes were on former 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner’s son in his debut World Championship event, and considering the challenges he faced, with no testing, a completely new bike and chassis, and a circuit he’d never been to, he produced an admirable and considered result today.
A philosophical Remy said “it was a difficult start to the weekend with rain in the first practice session and a broken engine in the second practice session. I basically went into qualifying and the race completely unprepared, but that in itself is good experience. We made a dramatic set up change to the bike for the race, to try and get it a bit closer to the KTM I’m used to, and even though we made a small improvement there was more that was needed to get it right. After I crashed in the rain on Friday I was hesitant to push too much, but as the race progressed I felt more comfortable with the set-up changes we’d made and started to push the front and slide the rear more, and my lap times were improving toward the end of the race. It’s all about time and confidence. The team were great to work with but we all needed more time together to get it right. Anyone who understands racing will know what I mean. The circuit was difficult for me to learn because it was hard to get my reference points right when the bike wasn’t doing what I wanted, but I think if I had more time and my bike set up better I’d really like it.”
Remy’s impression of his first GP? “I’m so happy my good mate Dakota Mamola was with me all weekend. He kept me calm and grounded, and was my chauffer, psychologist, nutritionist, and room-mate [thanks Dako], and although there was a bit of media attention I didn’t feel too much pressure. It was great being a rider in the paddock instead of a spectator, and today we had lunch and dinner with Chad Reid, which was a great way to end a pretty incredible weekend!!!”