Gardner jubilant after Day 2 at Cremona: "Very happy with the day… in the afternoon, I was fast and felt better!"

Friday, 24 May 2024 16:57 GMT

The Australian star secured P1 at Cremona despite only testing for one day and he left Italy positive following the test

Despite missing the opening day of action at the Cremona Circuit, Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) topped the times on Day 2 by just 0.059s ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha). The Australian was the first rider to break into the 1’28s barrier at the Italian venue as he showed his and the R1’s potential at a circuit set to make its MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship race debut later this year.

Like Locatelli, Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) and teammate Dominique Aegerter, the #87 sat out of Thursday’s action which was disrupted by heavy rain but made the most of Friday’s action. He completed 49 laps in the afternoon as he set the fastest lap of the test with a 1’28.860s while he also completed 61 laps in the morning to rack up more than 100 across the eight hours of testing on the final day.

The one-time podium finisher used Pirelli’s SCQ tyre to full advantage to set his lap time, although he had a run-off on the same compound shortly after. However, he was able to ride his bike back to the pits. He returned to the track later on although he didn’t improve his lap time, but it was good enough to secure top spot at a circuit he hadn’t been to before.

Discussing his test, 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.”

Despite his strong performance, Gardner did have an eventful day. He had a run-off in the afternoon at Turn 2 which cost him valuable track time. He also revealed he made a save at Turn 7 in the morning after losing the front when the test wasn’t going as well as it did in the afternoon. The off-track excursion and the morning save didn’t seem to impact him as he set the best time of the test, and he was also the first rider to break into the 1’28s barrier.

Talking about his two big moments, Gardner said: “I saved one at Turn 7 this morning. 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!”

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