The Gardner name will return to Grand Prix racing this weekend at Misano, with Remy Gardner, son of 1987 500cc World Champion Wayne, receiving a call up to ride for the Kiefer Racing team in the Moto3™ category.
Gardner will replace the injured Luca Grunwald in what is the perfect warm up to his recently announced Moto3™ wildcard for the 2014 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island on 17-19 October.
“I wasn’t expecting to be on a GP bike this weekend to be honest, but it’s the perfect way to prepare for Phillip Island in October,” Remy said.
“It’s always unfortunate when someone is injured and can’t compete, but I’m going to grab the opportunity with both hands and make the most of it. I’m hoping to learn as much as I can this weekend and it will be great experience for me. I’m not going to put any pressure on myself. As long as I know I’ve done my best I’ll be satisfied. ”
The news comes following the announcement of all official wildcards for the 2014 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, which includes four Australians across Moto2™ and Moto3™.
Joining Gardner with a Moto3™ wildcard will be South Australian rider Olly Simpson, while in Moto2™ Queenslander Aiden Wagner and Newcastle native Max Crocker have been awarded the opportunity.
For 16 year-old Gardner, the event will carry extra significance as it sees the family come full circle, after Wayne won the 1989 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island 25 years ago.
“It will be awesome racing in Australia. I haven’t actually ridden a Moto3™ bike around the Phillip Island Circuit yet, so it will be a challenge,” Remy said.
“I’m counting on taking the CEV (Campeonato Espagnol de Velocidad) experience I’ve built up and putting it to good use at Phillip Island. Hopefully, it will be another step towards racing in the GPs full-time next year, but I’m under no illusions that I’ve got to step up a lot of things to make that happen, from my fitness, to the mental side, as well as my riding.”
For father Wayne it will be a unique experience watching his son compete at Phillip Island, but he is confident that Remy is ready for the challenge.
“It’s hard to believe that 25 years on I’ll be returning to Phillip Island with my own son racing. It will be a proud moment for him and the rest of my family,” Wayne said.
“I think he’ll go well at Phillip Island, and I’ve got a few tips I can give him without overloading his brain.”
According to Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO, Andrew Westacott, the wildcards represent a strong future for Australians on the motorcycle world stage.
“To have four young Aussie riders awarded wildcards for the 2014 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix shows just how strong motorcycle talent is in this country. There could be seven Australians in total on the grid at Phillip Island this October across three categories, a phenomenal achievement,” Westacott said.
2014 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix wildcards:
Date of Birth: 24 February 1998
Team: Team Laglisse Calvo
Date of Birth: 10 January 1998
Team: Olly Simpson Racing
Date of Birth: 14 June 1994
Team: Marc VDS
Date of Birth: 13 May 1998
Team: Max Crocker Racing