Remy Gardner: Bigger bikes suit my dirt-track style

Remy Gardner prepares for the 'ultimate' big-bike experience in MotoGP next season; 'I come from dirt track, so I was always used to sliding around and the bike being sideways'.
Remy Gardner, Jerez MotoGP test, 19 November 2021
Remy Gardner, Jerez MotoGP test, 19 November 2021
© Gold and Goose

As Keith Huewen has often said during's MotoGP podcasts; bigger, more powerful, bikes suit Moto2 world champion Remy Gardner's riding style.

It's an opinion not only backed by Remy's father and 1987 500cc world champion Wayne Gardner, but can also be traced through the young Australian's improving grand prix results.

No higher than tenth on an underpowered Mahindra in the 250cc Moto3 class in 2015, Gardner switched to the Spanish Moto2 championship and instantly felt at home on the larger 600cc machine.

A CEV victory helped propel the Australian into the Moto2 world championship full-time with Tech3 in 2017. A best of fifth followed between some nasty injuries before he left the French team's Mistral for the more proven Kalex, at SAG, in 2019.

Crucially, that was also the year that Triumph 765cc engines replaced the 600cc Honda powerplants.

Gardner took a debut grand prix podium in just his second event and several other top-six finishes before a breakthrough four podiums, including victory, in 2020. The switch to Ajo and world championship glory followed for 2021.

Now comes the ultimate big-bike experience; a MotoGP seat with Tech3 KTM next season. Gardner has taken part in two tests on the machine, an introduction at Misano in September being followed by a proper two-day test at Jerez last month.

"I'm hoping we can continue that saga!" smiled Gardner, when asked why he seems to suit bigger bikes.

"I come from dirt track as a kid, so I was always used to sliding around and the bike being sideways, and turning with the rear. Casey, my dad, and all those guys come from dirt track in Australia.

"So that definitely helps me, especially on the big bike.

"On the Moto2 bike, now with the Triumph, it was bit more big-bike style. You've got to pick the bike up. It was a kind of a mix between Moto3 and Moto2 when you had the [Honda] CBR engines.

"But if the Triumph was more of a big-bike style, MotoGP is the ultimate!"

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Garder ended up asking for the electronics to be turned down on the RC16.

"I'm feeling a bit too much electronics on it [the MotoGP bike]. It's cutting the power a bit too much for me," he said. "That's really what we've been working on over the two days [at Jerez], so I can get a bit more slide in the bike and on the initial throttle, because I do like to turn with the rear."

At 1.78m tall and 72kg, Gardner will be one of the bigger riders on next year's MotoGP grid, roughly midway between Tech3 predecessor Danilo Petrucci (80kg/1.81m) and Raul Fernandez (1.77m/63kg), his team-mate and former Moto2 rival.

While Fernandez was feeling the physical strain of MotoGP acceleration and braking at Jerez, Gardner's biggest issue was the rib injury from Portimao.

"Apart from my rib I was feeling quite decent on the bike," he said. "I was doing 6-7 timed laps and they were calling me 'box' and I was 'right, I can do another 10 if you want'.

"At the moment, honestly, it’s not too bad. I'll probably have to ride a little bit more and train a little bit more [over the winter], but I'm a big boy and my weight helps out.

"There's a lot harder braking for sure. But also acceleration, keeping the front wheel down with your body over the front wheel.

"But the more you ride the bike, the more relaxed you get as well."

1.8s from the top and just 0.2s from lead rookie Fabio di Giannantonio at Jerez, Gardner's next outing will be at the Sepang Shakedown test in late January, which is open to rookies, test riders and race riders from concessions teams (Aprilia).

The official Sepang test, open to all competitors, will then follow a few days later.

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