Features 21 Feb 2023

Conversation: Remy Gardner

WorldSBK rookie on GRT Yamaha transition ahead of Phillip Island debut.

Interview: Russell Colvin

Making the switch to the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) in 2023, Remy Gardner has shown early promise onboard the GYTR GRT Yamaha in pre-season testing this year. A stark contrast to his Tech3 KTM Factory Racing surrounds in MotoGP last season, CycleOnline caught up with the Australian in this Conversation to discuss the transition and opening the season at Phillip Island.

Image: Russell Colvin.

It’s a big move from MotoGP to the Superbike World Championship… Overall, how has the transition been so far? 

Really positive. The paddock is really friendly, which is nice, and the team has been really great as well. Transitioning rider-wise, I’ve still got a few bad habits from last year – not bad habits but the style I used to ride the KTM just doesn’t work with the Yamaha. Just trying to kind of reset all of that in my brain at the moment, but yeah, it is going well, quite positive. I think we have shown some decent speed right out of the gate which is positive, but yeah, we still have a lot of work to do. Like I said, we just need to take it step by step and not go backwards.

You had the chance to ride the KTM RC16 around here last year, is there anything you can sort of take from that side of things and apply it in the WorldSBK paddock and to the Yamaha R1?

They are really different. Not too much, to be honest, the riding style is really different. As something that is still… I do have some habits from last year that I am trying to get rid of. I’d say it’s closer to a Moto2, it’s kind of like a mix of Moto2 and MotoGP, not power, but something in between. It’s more close to a Moto2 bike and speed-wise, it is nowhere near what a MotoGP bike is. It feels slow, but I guess that is a good thing, right [laughs]?

Image: Russell Colvin.

With the season kicking off here at Phillip Island, home round, does that sort of change the mentality and is a nice way to start the season for you? 

Definitely. It’s always nice to feel the support at home, and even though it wasn’t one of our best results last year in GP, it was one of the best races. It was quite fast, unfortunately, we had tyre problems, but you always give something more at home, which is nice to start the season here and hopefully it will give me a bit of an extra push this weekend.

Obviously, it’s still early days, but the final round of the ASBK championship at The Bend, last year there were the likes of Jack Miller, Josh Hook, and Marcel Schroetter there to name a few. If you had the chance to get an R1 for the event, would you contemplate racing the final round of ASBK this year?

If you asked me last year, I would have said no way, I was just sick of racing by the end of last year. You know with those 20 races and it was a tough year as well, I didn’t want to know anything about motorbikes. I would like to do it, the problem is, I do enjoy my time off as well, working in the garage. I would like to, if there is a good opportunity there, and obviously, I want to go there to try and kick some arse, which would be good [laughs]… I don’t want to go there and finish last. Like I said, if there is a good opportunity, why not.