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SBK, Gardner: “I’m having fun on the Yamaha. Toprak? He knows how to manage the tires.”

Remy Gardner ends his first Race 1 in the SBK in 12th position, on a track battered by rain. “I’m also very impressed by Locatelli, both in the tests and looking at the data. He’s really fast.”

SBK: Gardner: “I’m having fun on the Yamaha. Toprak? He knows how to manage the tires.”


The first Superbike race weekend at Phillip Island surprised the line-up with a track that was battered by rain, which put a strain on all the riders. Among the rookies, Remy Gardner arrived in Yamaha after his (dis)adventure in KTM in the MotoGP last year. After a good Superpole, he paid the price of the track conditions and a not yet optimal knowledge of the bike package and tires, finally ending  Race 1 in 12th position, 48”833 from an unstoppable Bautista on his Ducati.

It was a complicated race,” the Australian rider said. “I didn’t have that much fun to be honest. I had difficulty with the grip on the rear both in and out of corners. It was hard to finish the race. There were several risky moments, but I’m happy to have finished it without any accidents. I’m ready to face the race tomorrow, hoping to race in dry conditions.”

Did you get a chance to ride during the tests?
Yes, we had already experienced the same grip problems in Jerez, even if they seemed to have improved compared to before. Unfortunately, with the rain, it seems to have returned to the starting point.

What about your first Superbike Superpole?
It was a great lap, but I still have to adapt to the tires. Unfortunately, I encountered some traffic in the last sector of my fast lap. I made sure to give space to the other riders but, evidently, I caught up too quickly. Those two tenths could have catapulted me into the front row. I’m still pleased with the result. Now I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do tomorrow in race two in dry conditions.

With the track in optimal conditions, considering your pace, what are your expectations for tomorrow?
Realistically, I think I can finish in the first six, but there will obviously be many other variables. First of all, the new tires, which will have to be managed and to which I’m still adapting.

You’re at home here at Phillip Island.
It’s great to see all the fans coming to support me. It’s a really good feeling.

After your experience in KTM last year in the MotoGP, you’re now in the SBK on a Yamaha. What are your impressions of this bike after the first tests and this round?
The MotoGP is a world unto itself. The bike is fun to ride. In some ways, it reminds me of the Moto2, even if it’s obviously different in other respects. I think it suits my riding style, but I’m still getting to know it.”

Speaking of Yamaha, Toprak is their reference point right now. What do you think their secret is?
I think it’s the way he manages the new tires, especially when they’re new. But, after all, he knows both the tires and the bike package well. The one who really surprised me was Locatelli. He was already very fast in the tests. But, looking at the data, he’s riding really fast. I think it’s going to be a very long season!” the Australian rider concluded.


Translated by Leila Myftija

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