Gardner ‘missing a bit of pace when the tyre was new’

Remy Gardner says unlocking more pace is needed at the beginning of races despite putting together one of his best WorldSBK rounds of the season.
Remy Gardner, Yamaha WorldSBK Portimao 2023
Remy Gardner, Yamaha WorldSBK Portimao 2023

A sixth place finish in Race 1 was backed up by P4 in the Superpole Race at Portimao, however, the Australian felt as though he could have achieved more.

A technical issue meant Gardner had to retire from Race 2 anyways, but the GRT Yamaha rider says he must find more performance when the tyres are new.

"It had been really great, up until Race 2," said the former MotoGP rider. "I started ninth in the Superpole Race, and I knew we could have a good race. 

"We had our lap time deleted in Superpole so I knew I could go forward. I had a really good last two laps, fighting it out with Michael and Iker. 

"I managed to get a good fourth and I was quite happy with that. I used that as a springboard into Race 2 and I was into third for a bit, but I was honestly missing a little bit of pace when the tyre was newer. 

"The guys did get away from me a little bit. I started getting back in my rhythm and started closing up on Iker quite a lot. 

"I think I could’ve had a really good pace towards the end of the race but not even halfway through, we had a little bit of a technical problem and I had to retire from the race unfortunately. 

"It’s an unfortunate way to end but a positive weekend overall."

Although he failed to finish the last race of the weekend, Gardner was again head and shoulders above teammate Dominique Aegerter. 

Aegerter’s best result was P8 in Race 2 after finishing 14th in the first two races of the weekend. As a result of his poor run of form, Aegerter has now lost P10 in the championship to Gardner by one point.

Speaking after Sunday’s Race 2, Aegerter said: "In the Warm Up we made a good step forward and then in the Superpole Race I was improving my feeling once more, but unfortunately ten laps weren’t enough to fully show my potential. 

"Then, in the second race, I could enjoy a good ride showing great pace towards the end. 

"I tried to go for P6, but I went wide and dropped to P8 at the end, which is a bit of a shame, but the performance is there. 

"I’d like to thank the team for their efforts, it wasn’t just about myself. I’m always asking a lot from the team, and they always deliver, so I wanted to give them something back today.

"I’ll enjoy a bit of recovery time as I still have some pain in my elbow and shoulder, and then I’ll be 100% ready for the season finale."

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