News 16 Sep 2022

Gardner opens up on move to WorldSBK paddock

Podium target for freshly signed GRT Yamaha rider in 2023.

Image: Supplied.

Following the announcement of his GYTR GRT Yamaha switch for 2023, Australia’s Remy Gardner has opened up on the move to the WorldSBK paddock and is ‘really looking forward’ to the new challenge.

Gardner, 24, will make his debut in the premier class of production racing next year, inking a deal this week with Yamaha Motor Europe.

He is the second rider in as many years to leave Tech3 KTM Factory Racing and join WorldSBK, with Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) doing so for this season and achieving a podium finish at Assen.

“Having a look at Iker, he’s already been on the podium, so he’s been having some decent races,” Gardner said. “The Honda’s maybe not as competitive at the moment.

“I think the package we’ll have next year may not be too bad. It’ll be interesting maybe. Hopefully, we can be up there fighting for podiums, which is what I want!

“There’s a lot to learn. Lots of new things to learn. Tyres, bikes, electronics. During the winter, for sure, I’ll be on a street bike with Pirelli tyres doing lots of laps wherever I can, trying to get the best possible understanding. Really looking forward to this new challenge and the new bikes and a new championship.”

Interestingly, two rounds remain in WorldSBK this year after the conclusion of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship in Valencia, Spain on 6 November. The first is Mandalika, Indonesia on 11-13 November before the season finale at Phillip Island one week later.

Gardner understandably has his current MotoGP contract but hasn’t denied the potential of competing in a WorldSBK round this year to get a headstart in preparations for 2023.

“I know it has been brought up, this topic, but I can’t say anything, can’t confirm or anything right now,” he added. “If not, the first race is set to be at Phillip Island next year so that’ll be cool.”

The 2021 Moto2 World champion’s next outing commences today at Aragon for round 15 of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship, where he is currently 23rd in the points standings with a best result of P11.