News 23 Apr 2024

Breakout first WorldSBK podium marks Gardner resurgence

GYTR GRT Yamaha rider redeems himself with race two podium in Assen.

Image: Supplied.

Australian Remy Gardner has earned a maiden podium in the Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) following a breakout performance at Assen’s third round, marking a resurgence of the former Moto2 world champion.

The GYTR GRT Yamaha entry was in fine form right across the weekend, finishing just shy of the podium in P4 during race one, while Sunday’s Superpole race outing him set for a career-first podium until the final corner when Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) pipped him for third position.

Gardner redeemed himself in race two while overcoming the prospect of a wet race, leading the field at lap 12 before crossing the chequered flag nine laps later in third position.

“It was about time,” Gardner stated. “We’ve had an amazing weekend – we were fast in every session. Unfortunately, I lost a place on the rostrum in the Superpole race, I’m honestly kicking myself for leaving the door open at the last corner, but Alex had a good race so congratulations to him.

“In race two, drops of rain made it scary and I didn’t do anything crazy, everyone closed the gas, but as soon as it started to dry again I felt I had the pace and I opened the gap. Finally, we’re back on the podium and I hope it’ll be the first of many.”

Following his shock axing by KTM after a single season in MotoGP and transferring to WorldSBK with Yamaha for 2023, the 26-year-old has fallen short of a podium appearance on numerous occasions, and most notably concluded his rookie Superbike campaign without lifting a trophy.

The milestone comes at a critical time for Gardner in what is his second season in the championship, where it’s more important than ever that he makes an impact on the series and establishes himself as a regular podium challenger.

“It’s been two years without a podium for me, so yeah I’ve definitely had some really hard times,” he continued. “Obviously, everyone knows my GP story and then we didn’t get a podium last year when I moved to WorldSBK.

“It’s been a big challenge for me and I just want to say thank you to my girlfriend, my team, and everyone that has believed in me. Finally, it’s so good to be back on the podium again and I can’t wait to go to the next race already.”

Gardner’s Assen scorecard now sees him ranked eighth in the championship standings, just 10 points shy of the top five as the series heads into a near two-month break, scheduled to return on 14 June at Misano, Italy.