Remy Gardner tops Cremona WorldSBK test: "Straight away I was fast”

Remy Gardner was the quickest rider on day-two of the Cremona WorldSBK test.

Remy Gardner
Remy Gardner

Remy Gardner edged out fellow Yamaha rider Andrea Locatelli as he set a blistering lap time during the final two hours of the Cremona WorldSBK test.

Less than a tenth ultimately separated the two Yamaha riders, and although the morning ‘wasn’t too easy’, Gardner was left pleased with the test overall.

Speaking about his day, Gardner said: “As we only had one day, I didn’t even know where the track went! I knew the first corner went left so I went out and started riding this morning.

“It felt okay but I definitely struggled a bit more this morning to get on the pace and the rhythm.

“I was struggling to set up the gearing because it’s new for everybody, but this afternoon we went back out with the gearing that works well.

“Straight away, I was fast and felt better. We found a lot of improvements on the bike and I’m happy with the day.”

While Gardner was fast, the former MotoGP rider nearly crashed on two occasions.

“I saved one at Turn 7 this morning,” began Gardner. “I was pushing when things weren’t working too well, but I saved it on the elbow which was good.

“This afternoon, on the SCQ, I was doing a long run and just got the bike a bit unsettled on the braking marker into Turn 2 and ran off into the dirt.

“I just managed to stop it before the wall. I ended up in the grass and tried to re-join the track, but 30 metres in front of the grass, it turned into flat track mud, and I slipped on the mud. Unfortunately, I got dirty, and the bike got dirty!”

On the factory team’s side of the garage, day-two was another positive outing for Locatelli who is still searching for his first WorldSBK win.

Locatelli said: “It was the first day for me with the ‘big bike’ on this track and I think we did very well.

“We were focused on doing some laps and try to set-up and understand the R1 here. In only one day, we made a really good lap time and we made a good rhythm on the used tyres so in general I am happy.

“I have a good feeling and I have good confidence and now we have two more days of testing next week in Misano.

“I am excited because it has been a long time that we didn’t ride! We had a good day, no mistakes, no crash – we did a lot of things and we have good data, and we can arrive in Misano with some more ideas to set-up the bike for Misano race.

“Cremona looks like a good track and I enjoy quite a lot the first sector and the last sector, because it is where we need to turn a bit more.

“On the last sector it’s nice to ride, looks like jumping and then to go in the last corner – it’s something different.

“For sure it’s not a big track so it might not be easy to overtake in the race, but let’s see. We will arrive here in September focused and we will try to get the maximum.”

Different settings used for Rea in Cremona

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea

After showing signs of turning his season around in Assen, Jonathan Rea believes further progress was made aboard the R1 in Cremona.

Rea, who didn’t set a fast time, admitted he was going to end the test early in order to save his testing allocation for later in the season, before jumping back aboard his bike in the afternoon.

Rea added: “It was nice to get here and get back on my R1, it’s been a while since Assen! Cremona is a new track for WorldSBK and also a new track for me, a new track for almost everybody really.

“It was important to come here before September and at least learn the way round, so now I know!

“It looked like we were going to get another thunderstorm in the afternoon, so we were gambling to try and save that afternoon to use more test days in the season – but after a couple of hours we decided it was going to miss us, so we went back out and started really trying to find the limits with the Yamaha R1 on this circuit.

“It was also important to help get me more comfortable and electronically we worked on a lot of different settings compared to what I was using at the start of the season.

“Step-by-step, building the set-up – always when you arrive at a new track there’s many areas to adjust and give feedback on to the engineers, just to refine the set-up and get more comfortable pushing closer to the limit because we still have margin to improve.”

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