More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Raul Fernandez wins the race, Gardner wraps up the title in a classic Moto2™ finale
The rookie keeps his end of the bargain but the Australian stays cool under pressure to take the World Championship
In a tense, red-flagged race at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was crowned the 2021 Moto2™ World Champion after finishing P10 on Sunday afternoon. Teammate and title rival Raul Fernandez won for an incredible eighth time to finish just four points down in the overall standings, as Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) claimed podiums.
The Moto2™ title decider got underway but a crash involving Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46), Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (MV Agusta Forward Racing) brought out the red flags, with an oil spillage occurring between Turns 2 and 3. All riders were ok, a brief pause in proceedings happened with a clean up operation underway before the race got back in business.
There was a little more drama though. After claiming his first pole since 2012 on Saturday, Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) pulled into pitlane after the Warm Up lap and the experienced Italian was out of the race with a technical issue. Meanwhile on track, Augusto Fernandez led Raul Fernandez into Turn 1, with the latter taking the lead at Turn 6 on Lap 2. Gardner made a steady start and was ninth.
Raul Fernandez wasn’t having it all his own way at the front though. Di Giannantonio came through on the Spaniard to lead on Lap 4, with Gardner slipping backwards. Jorge Navarro (Termozeta Speed Up), Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) and Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) all passed Gardner and suddenly, the Australian was P11 – and had former teammate Tetsuta Nagashima (Italtrans Racing Team) swarming all over the back of him. Still, though, as things stood – Raul Fernandez P2, Gardner P11 – the title was heading to Gardner.
With six laps to go, the Australian found a way past Lüthi at Turn 4 into P10. The top three – Diggia, Raul Fernandez and Augusto Fernandez – were split by nothing, with Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) 1.2s back on the podium scrap in P4. Then, with four to go, Raul Fernandez pounced on Diggia at Turn 2. A classic block pass from the Spaniard saw him take the lead, but with Gardner 10th, it still wasn’t enough. Gardner, in turn, was two seconds behind Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) in ninth, although only 0.6s ahead of Nagashima in 11th…
Two laps to go saw Raul Fernandez P1, Gardner P10. Diggia and Augusto Fernandez were still in touch with the race leader too, and Gardner was keeping Nagashima at bay.
By the last lap, a tense 0.3s was the advantage Raul Fernandez held over Diggia and Augusto Fernandez, and Gardner was still 10th – able to just keep his own three-tenth advantage over Nagashima on the chase. Raul Fernandez was holding up his end of the bargain and so was Gardner, but as the rookie sensation crossed the line to take a Marquez-beating, mesmerising eighth victory of the season, taking the chequered flag in P10 made Remy Gardner the the 2021 Moto2™ World Champion.
Diggia and Augusto Fernandez rode superbly to finish just behind Raul Fernandez in P2 and P3, and rookie Vietti ended his campaign with an equal-best result in P4. Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team) rounded out the top five, with Vierge finishing P6 despite being involved in the red-flagged crash, a great result for the Spaniard who heads off to WorldSBK in 2022.
Lowes, Navarro and Schrötter crossed the line in 7th, 8th and 9th respectively, before Gardner claimed 10th. It was a nervy race, but 10th was more than enough. Nagashima claimed P11, and Lüthi – in his final Grand Prix – notched up P12 as we bid a fond farewell to the fourth highest Grand Prix appearance maker after 318 starts. Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP40), Marcos Ramirez (American Racing) and WorldSBK-bound Hafizh Syahrin (NTS RW Racing GP) claimed the final points.
A simply outstanding title race between Gardner and Raul Fernandez ends with the Australian coming out on top. A staggering season by both, now we get ready to watch them move to MotoGP™ with Tech3 KTM Factory Racing in 2022. Tune in for more next season as they switch orange for… orange!
Raul Fernandez: “It was a fantastic race, I did my job and won. I’m happy with that. We did an incredible season, in the end we didn’t win the Championship but in was the best season of my life, I enjoyed it like a kid and we won eight races. Before we started if anyone told me I’d win two or three I wouldn’t believe it. Now we have eight, it’s incredible.”
More, from another press release issued by Dorna:
Remy Gardner is the 2021 FIM Moto2™ World Champion!
Sunday, 14 November 2021
Remy Gardner is the 2021 FIM Moto2™ World Champion! Heading in with a 23-point advantage, the Australian needed to take a handful of points in the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana to wrap up the crown, and that he did with a tenth place finish. After an incredible season of consistency with 12 podiums, of which five have been victories, the number 87 kept his nerve to the last to become a World Champion.
Watch a special video HERE.
Son of 1987 500cc Champion Wayne Gardner, Remy Gardner started riding bikes early as he got his first motorcycle at the age of four. He began his career racing dirt track and long track, as a good few greats from Down Under have done before him, competing at state and national level in his native Australia.
He then switched to tarmac not long after, and his first international race came in late 2010 thanks to an invite from Honda Australia to compete at the NSF100 Trophy Worldwide Mini Bike race in Albacete, Spain. Later that same year, Gardner made his Australian road race debut at the iconic Phillip Island, winning the MRRDA Australian Nippers Championship.
The next step in his career would prove crucial as Gardner travelled to Spain to compete in the pre-Moto3™ class in the Mediterranean Championship in 2011. He came second overall, and that prefaced a full-time move to Spain for 2012. The Aussie has called the country home ever since.
Gardner entered the Moto3™ class in the CEV for the first time in 2012, finishing most races and scoring points in his debut season. In 2013 he made more progress, including taking his first top five finish at the Albacete round, and he remained in the Championship for 2014 and took another step forward, scoring points in every race he started bar one and taking his first podium.
Gardner also made his Grand Prix debut that season, racing at Misano, Phillip Island and Sepang. His final appearance at the Malaysian Grand Prix provided a milestone as the Aussie scored his first World Championship point, finishing fifteenth. The move to the World Championship came full-time for 2015, and the NSW native finished the season 30th overall aboard a Mahindra – with his home Grand Prix at Phillip Island proving a highlight as Gardner took his first top ten finish Down Under.
For 2016, Gardner then moved to bigger machinery, taking on the Moto2™ European Championship with Race Experience and, from the Catalan GP on, the Moto2™ World Championship with Tasca Racing. In the former he impressed with a top five in Race 2 at MotorLand, before signing off his participation with his first win in Race 2 in Barcelona – and by a sizeable margin.
The same Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya also staged his Moto2™ World Championship debut, which saw Gardner come home in P15 and score a point first time out, just week before his first European Moto2™ win. Impressing with his adaptation, Gardner then remained in the Moto2™ World Championship for the remainder of 2016, taking more points at the Sachsenring with a 12th-place finish before another points-paying P13 at Sepang.
His performances earned him a seat at Tech3 Racing for 2017, and he was a regular points scorer, taking his first top ten in the Moto2™ World Championship with a ninth place at Brno. 2018 saw the Aussie take more points and move further forward once again, the progress clear despite a motocross accident ahead of the Spanish GP in which he broke both his legs. Once he was back from injury though, Gardner picked up where he left off, took his first front row at Silverstone and then ended both the season and his tenure with Tech3 in style at Valencia with his first Moto2™ top five.
2019 and 2020 added more milestones as Gardner moved to the SAG Team. In 2019 the number 87 took his first Grand Prix podium with second place at Termas de Rio Hondo, as well as setting the fastest lap, and the TT Circuit Assen saw the Australian take his first pole position. 2020 began with a top five in Qatar, Gardner took pole in Austria and by the Styrian GP he was back on the podium. However, a crash in Warm Up at Misano – where he was set to start from pole – saw the Aussie facing more injury struggles with a fracture to his left hand. He missed that race and the Emilia-Romagna GP, returning at Catalunya but only taking P16 after riding through the pain barrier. From there though, the momentum began its crescendo that would culminate in the 2021 Moto2™ crown: second at Le Mans, two top fives at MotorLand, and third and seventh at Valencia. That prefaced the season finale where, after mastering the rollercoaster as the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve joined the calendar, Gardner took his first Grand Prix win in some style: from pole and with the fastest lap.
For 2021, the rider on a roll joined Red Bull KTM Ajo and the rest is history, or likely become so. The number 87 started the season with three podiums in a row in Qatar, Doha and Portimão, before a fourth place from pole in Jerez. Le Mans was another podium, this time in second place, before Gardner won three in a row on an incredible run of form: Mugello, Catalunya and Germany, the latter of which was the 200th Moto2™ race. Another podium at Assen saw him head into the summer break with an advantage in the title fight of 31 points.
His closest rival, however, was teammate Raul Fernandez and the rookie sensation would continue to prove the key challenger as the season rolled on. Gardner came back from the summer break off the podium in both races at the Red Bull Ring as Raul Fernandez took another win in the second, not going down without a fight. The Australian hit back with victory at Silverstone as his teammate crashed out, but both Aragon and San Marino saw the number 87 forced to settle for second as Raul Fernandez began a serious comeback and strung together his own run of three wins in a row – including at the Circuit of the Americas, where Gardner made his first big mistake of the season and crashed out.
And so, as the paddock returned to Misano for the Emilia-Romagna GP, the gap between the two was just nine points… but there was another twist in the tale just around the corner. Despite the race proving a tougher once for Gardner, Raul Fernandez crashed out the lead – doubling Gardner’s advantage in one fell swoop as the gap shot back out to 18 points in favour the Australian. That set up the first match point in the Moto2™ World Championship for the Algarve GP, and despite a dramatic crash on Friday that left Gardner riding a little bruised on Sunday, the Australian dug deep and took an incredible win under intense pressure from his teammate. That added another five points of advantage, making it 23 on the way in to the season finale.
After a Red Flag and restart, Gardner kept his nerve from P8 on the grid, dropping a couple of places and duelling it out in the latter half of the top ten. Raul Fernandez had to win to keep his chances alive and that the number 25 did, but Gardner stayed calm and avoided any risks near the front to come out on top in the fight for tenth – three places higher than he needed – and take a history-making World Championship crown. Wayne and Remy join Kenny Roberts and Kenny Roberts Jr as father and son World Champions.
#REMYRULES IN STATS
Remy Gardner is the first Australian rider to clinch the Moto2™ title and the second to do so in the intermediate category of GP racing along with Kel Carruthers in 1969.
Remy Gardner is the seventh different Australian rider to clinch a GP world title along with Casey Stoner (2), Mick Doohan (5), Kel Carruthers (1), Tom Phillis (1), Keith Campbell (1) and Remy’s father Wayne Gardner (1).
In addition, with his father Wayne crowned World Champion in the 500cc class in 1987, they become the second father and son to both be World Champions, along with MotoGP™ Legends Kenny Roberts and Kenny Roberts Jr.
Aged 23 years and 263 days old, Gardner is the eighth youngest rider to clinch the title in Moto2™, behind Alex Marquez (23 years 194 days old).
With six wins in the intermediate category, Remy Gardner is the second most successful Australian rider in the intermediate class behind Kel Carruthers (7 wins).
Remy Gardner has won five races in 2021, three less than his teammate Raul Fernandez. However, he is tied with Fernandez as the riders most podiums in Moto2™ this season, with 12.
Remy Gardner: “It’s definitely been an intense season. Raul did an amazing job this year, as a rookie he really made me work for it for sure. It’s such an amazing season, so many podiums, great races, four wins. [Speaker: five wins]. Five wins? Five. Well that shows how much I’m keeping track. It’s been an incredible season. So many parc fermes and podiums, incredible moments with the team. There were times I’d finish second and think that was a bad day but you have to enjoy every moment. It’s been such an amazing season but intense for sure, especially the last quarter has been really intense, Raul has been so fast, I’ve made a few mistakes and he has too, but consistency was key in the end and the days when I just couldn’t win or he won, it was just about finishing and getting the points I could. Ultimately that’s what got us over the line.
“With the first race I had a pretty good first lap, after that incident at Turn 2 I got though on the inside and ended up with the front guys and I thought that would be a good opportunity to go with those guys and break up the group and have a good consistent race, then with the Red Flag everything stopped.
“I made a good start in both, the second wasn’t as good on the first lap and for the first few laps I was just hanging in there and going with the guys but it was a bit scary cause I saw there was a bit of commotion, guys were passing, Raul was going for it and I thought ‘I’m not going to put myself in the middle there, I’m going to hang back.’ Then I came under fire from the guys behind and had to pull my finger out a little bit and break up the group a bit.
“I had to push a bit harder to get away from Tetsu, he was going crazy and my teammate in the past, I know how he rides! Just tried to break up the group a bit and finish the race in a respectable position and safely. Managed to do that, keep my nerves and for sure it was a lot of pressure but I managed to bring it home.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet to be honest. There have been so many hard years, decent success this year and even last year, I really kind of changed my chip last year and everything started to go a bit better. I didn’t have the most podiums in the world but managed to get my mind under control, everything was falling into place and I was trying to keep positive about everything. From 2015 to even 2019 they were really, really tough years for me and like I said, there were points in my career I honestly believed that was it, there was no more and that was the end of the road. Especially after injury for sure, fighting through that was incredibly difficult.”
If you told your past self you’d be 2021 Moto2™ World Champion would you have believed it?
“Probably not, no. It’s taken a turn for sure!”
First Grand Prix: Misano 2014, Moto3™
First pole position: Assen 2019, Moto2™
First podium: Argentina 2019, Moto2™
First victory: Portugal 2020, Moto2™
Grands Prix: 113 (92 in Moto2™)
Victories: 5 (5 in Moto2™)
Podiums: 16 (16 in Moto2™)
Pole positions: 6 (6 in Moto2™)
Fastest laps: 5 (5 in Moto2™)
World Championships: Moto2™ (2021)
World Championship career:
2014: Moto3™ World Championship – 32nd, Kalex/Kalex KTM, 3 races, 1 point
2015: Moto3™ World Championship – 30th, Mahindra, 18 races, 6 points
2016: Moto2™ World Championship – 26th, Kalex, 12 races, 8 points
2017: Moto2™ World Championship – 21st, Tech3, 17 races, 23 points
2018: Moto2™ World Championship – 19th, Tech3, 15 races, 40 points
2019: Moto2™ World Championship – 15th, Kalex, 18 races, 77 points
2020: Moto2™ World Championship – 6th, Kalex, 13 races, 135 points
2021: Moto2™ World Championship – 1st, Kalex, 18 races, 311 points
More, from a press release issued by KTM Factory Racing:
REMY GARDNER BRINGS SECOND 2021 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TO THE KTM GP ACADEMY WITH MOTO2™ TITLE IN VALENCIA
2021 KTM GP Academy, Round 18 of 18, Circuit Ricardo Tormo (ESP) – Race
Remy Gardner has won the Moto2 World Championship for Red Bull KTM Ajo after taking 10th position at Valencia, Spain and round eighteen of eighteen in 2021 MotoGP. Teammate Raul Fernandez claimed the final round and classified runner-up in his rookie season.
– Gardner brings first Moto2 title to the KTM GP Academy thanks to five victories & 12 podiums
– The 23-year-old is the first Australian Moto2 champion and the first from his country to lift a title since Casey Stoner in 2011.
– Gardner’s teammate Raul Fernandez is an impressive runner-up in his first Moto2 year with eight race wins including Valencia success
– Jaume Masia 3rd on the Moto3 podium
– KTM toast Moto3 Constructors World Championship
Remy Gardner rode to 10th position at a sunny Ricardo Tormo Circuit for the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana and delivered his first world championship after six seasons learning his trade in the tight and competitive Moto2. The Australian completed a nervy race that had been red-flagged early-on and shortened due to an oil spillage on the track. Teammate Raul Fernandez sprinted to the checkered flag and the points difference between the two was just four by the end.
Gardner moved up from 15th to 6th and now to 1st in his last three Moto2 campaigns. He joined the Red Bull KTM Ajo team for 2021 for the final surge of performance to make a push for the title. He gathered 12 podiums through a consistent term that included five wins in Italy, Catalunya, Germany, Great Britain and Portugal. He captured three consecutive trophies in his first three races for the team in Qatar and Portugal.
Fernandez won eight Grands Prix and gathered 12 podiums. The rookie first triumphed at the Portuguese Grand Prix earlier this year, which was his first accolade in the class. He subsequently added another seven wins and three more rostrums to take the title dispute to the wire.
From 18 rounds Red Bull KTM Ajo finished 1-2 on the rostrum seven times. An Ajo bike was missing from a Moto2 celebration on only three occasions. Both Gardner and Fernandez’s next challenge will be 2022 MotoGP with the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing team.
Remy Gardner: “I’m lost for words. After so many years of suffering and so many points in my career where I thought ‘I’m not good enough, I’m not gonna make it’ we did it. This is a dream come true and I want to thank everyone who believed in me when others didn’t. I still cannot believe this has happened. I so grateful to be here.”
Raul Fernandez: “I’m really happy with my race and I did what I could to try and win the championship. It wasn’t lost here but in other races. Anyway, it has been a fantastic season thanks to an incredible team behind me. We won eight races and set a record for my first year in Moto2. I have a strange feeling now: I won today but not the championship but I’m still very happy.”
Aki Ajo: “In both categories this season has been incredible. On the other hand, I have to remind myself that this is part of the work: the result of that is the improvements we can see, and we can still make. It is always a pleasure to go through that process. It’s an emotional moment. Remy did it today and Raul had a great race; like for every rider, we just tried to help them take out the maximum of their potential. It’s important to draw out the best of everything around you in racing while also keeping it simple.”
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “It’s a great moment. Winning the title in Moto3 and then watching these boys in Moto2 – and knowing they are moving up to MotoGP – I feel like our foundation for the future is set. This year has been another milestone. It’s crazy what Red Bull KTM Ajo did this season and we’re looking forward to 2022 already.”
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Pedro Acosta started the 23-lap Moto3 dash from Pole Position for the first time in his career. The 2021 world champion was part of a fantastic battle between 12 riders for victory until last lap contact with Dennis Foggia put him on the ground and out of the running. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü was a protagonist until he received a Long Lap penalty for exceeding track limits. The Turk valiantly fought back to 5th. It was left to Acosta’s Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate, Jaume Masia, to invade the final charge for the podium places and the Spaniard seized 3rd, less than three tenths of a second from the winner. It was Masia’s fourth visit to the rostrum this year. The KTM RC4 won 7 of the 18 rounds in 2021.