News 6 Mar 2023

Seventh for Gardner despite battling illness in Indonesia

Best result in 2023 WorldSBK season to date from back of grid.

Image: Supplied.

An inspired recovery from the back of the grid saw Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) debutant Remy Gardner charge to a strong seventh in race two at Mandalika, the Australian achieving the feat despite battling illness that ruled him out of Saturday’s program altogether.

Gardner started his second race weekend in WorldSBK on a positive note and concluded the two free practice sessions on Friday sixth fastest at the 4.313km Indonesian circuit, his best time of a 1m33.374s ninth-tenths from pace-setter Michael Rinaldi ( Racing Ducati).

Diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis, Gardner was forced to the sidelines for all of the action on Saturday, meaning he missed free practice three, superpole and race one. As a result, the GYTR GRT rider had to start Sunday’s superpole race from the rear of the grid, ultimately finishing the red-flag-shortened outing in 14th position.

Starting from the back again in race two, Gardner methodically worked his way forward to finish seventh – less than two seconds from a top five which marks his best race result to date in the 2023 Superbike World Championship.

“Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could race today, but we made it!” Gardner recalled. “We tried our best in the Tissot superpole race, managing to recover eight positions. Afterwards, in race two, we also showed great speed, starting once again from last.

“We must take the positives and look forward to the next rounds, we saw we have the speed, we’ll keep working. Let’s focus on some rest now, use the time to recover fully, and then we’ll think about what’s next for us.”

With over a month to recover, round three of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship takes place at Assen between 21-23 April, as Gardner currently sits 13th in the points standings.