Australia’s 1987 500cc world champion Wayne Gardner believes son Remy has the talent and toughness to use a wildcard at this week’s Tissot Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix as a springboard to a full-time Grand Prix ride.
Remy, 16, will compete for Team Laglisse Calvo on a KTM in this weekend’s Moto3 race at Phillip Island, 25 years after father Wayne won the first 500cc world championship Grand Prix held at the Victorian coastal circuit.
The Sydney-born teenager has been a front-runner in the Campeonato Espagnol de Velocidad (Spanish domestic championship) this year, and made his world championship debut at Misano for the San Marino Grand Prix in September.
That race came just a week after Gardner emerged unscathed from a horrendous accident in the Spanish domestic series at the Navarra circuit, where he fell from his bike early in the race, was momentarily knocked out, and run over by another rider.
Speaking to the ‘Keeping Track’ podcast, Wayne Gardner says his son’s response to the biggest crash of his career showed he has the mental strength to match his burgeoning riding ability.
“I’m regarded as one of the tough guys of the sport, but for 16 years old, Remy is extremely tough,” Gardner said.
“He’s very focused and determined, which follows my traits. That accident was just horrific; I couldn’t breathe and I had to have a cold shower after it. But he didn’t even get one scratch on him, and he wanted to go straight out and race. One week later, he’s in the Grand Prix at Misano.”
Gardner says his son’s riding style should mesh well with the fast and flowing Philip Island layout, where Wayne took memorable back-to-back wins for Honda in 1989-90.
“Remy’s extremely fast in fast corners, and the general consensus in Spain is that Remy’s got big balls – like his dad, everyone keeps telling me,” Wayne laughs.
“This year, he’s really picked his game up in the high-speed corners. His little mistakes this year have only been in first-gear corners, where he’s given it a fistful of throttle and not quite on the right line. You’ve got to have a certain style for fast stuff and you’ve got to change your style for the slow stuff, just for one or two corners. Remember, Phillip Island has two slow corners …”
Gardner also spoke about the challenges of relocating his family to Barcelona three years ago so Remy and 14-year-old brother Luca could pursue their racing careers.
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