Luca Gardner completed a satisfying weekend of racing in Round three of the Copa España de Velocidad today, working hard on his race craft to improve his qualifying position by eleven places to finish in twenty-second place.
A field of thirty-seven young pre-GP Moto 3 riders lined up on the grid at Albacete Circuit, after facing scorching temperatures over three days. Free practice on Friday provided Luca the time needed to get to know the circuit, and he consistently lowered his lap times throughout the day. His aim was to continue this improvement on Saturday during two qualifying sessions, however at the beginning of qualifying two the piston seized and his opportunity to better the thirty-third grid position was lost.
“I was happy this happened in qualifying and not on race day,” said Luca. “But, my goal was to take at least a second off my previous best time and qualify closer to the middle of the field, and get more time to learn the circuit better. I knew I would have to work hard to get where I wanted to be in the race, and even though I didn’t get a very exciting start, I was able to finish ok,” he added.
For the last half of the twelve lap race Luca battled to maintain his final position, loosing the place a number of times and fighting back to finally pull away on the last lap.
Luca worked with his brother Remy throughout the three days to improve his riding position, and set down some consistent times. He achieved both of these objectives and it’s given him confidence to move forward. “I know it’s going to take time for me to get up to pace with the top riders in this championship, but after the weekend I have more confidence that I can do it. Remy and my team Briefing Competićio helped a lot. I have a problem with my left foot from nerve damage when I was a baby and it’s much smaller and weaker than my other foot. I have trouble changing gears and this makes my knee stick out in the corner, but by trying to fix my position in other areas on the bike hopefully this won’t be such a big problem,” said Luca.
Congratulations to the top three riders who achieved podium today, Vincent Perez Selfa in first, Bartolome Sanchez Perez in second and Hector Garzo Vicent in third.