Aussie racer Remy Gardner, together with father Wayne Gardner, has just gone down in history as the second set to secure championships for Moto2.
The report from ABC News states that Remy’s dad, Wayne Gardner, was world 500cc champ back in 1987 – a feat that has been since completed by others…just not by his offspring.
“There have definitely been some hard years,” Gardner jr. says at the press conference.
“Last year, I really managed to get my mind under control, which then led to everything kind of falling into place…I just tried to keep positive about everything.”
“From 2015 to 2019, they were some really tough years for me and even some points where I honestly believed that it was the end of the road. Especially after the injuries — just fighting through that was incredibly difficult.”
Stoner, commentating for BT Sport, saluted the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, saying the following:
“Remy’s been through a hell of a lot the last few years — he’s had his critics, and I myself wasn’t sure where his talent levels were….but once you get with the right team and get the right people around you, he was really able to show what he’s capable of and his season’s been outstanding.”
It’s more than a little bit emotional for Remy, seeing as this is only the second time a father-son duo has completed the championship.
“I can’t believe it. So many years of suffering, so many points in my career I just thought I’m not good enough, not going to make it, but I’ve made it happen, it’s a dream come true.”
“I will do whatever is necessary to give the motorcycle family group a good hearing at State or Federal levels in Government as the motorcyclist is getting a raw deal in this growing environmental conscious society,” he says.
In fact, he would even ride up to Parliament steps in his racing leathers on a moped to press the point with politicians and the public.
“I would love to do this as I am totally 100% behind all motorcyclists in Australia to get a better deal for riders and help the environment,” he says.
Lower the cost of powered two-wheel registration and compulsory third party insurance ($50 – 50cc, $100 – LAMS, $200 – Open standardise across all states);
50cc scooters, mopeds, and equivalent electric bikes able to be ridden on a car licence Australia-wide;
Incentives for commuters to buy electric-powered bikes through green fund rebates (as per current solar rebates) and no stamp duty charges;
National exemption from motorway, bridge, and tunnel toll charges; and
Free parking and footpath parking, except in public thoroughfares and walkways.
“Motorcycles are my love and passion as I own many bikes that need management and service regularly,” Wayne says.
“I am appalled by the rising costs that all motorcyclists must endure when motorcycles have zero impact on our roads, highways, and infrastructure and emit considerable less pollution than cars, trucks, and buses in our cities, urban areas, and country.”
Wayne says he “firmly believes” that getting kids on to e-bikes and mopeds will lead to better safety and more future riders.
“In Spain, Italy, and some other countries, you can start riding at 14 years of age which creates huge sales of scooters and mopeds and biking for the younger and middle-aged population as it provides independence and low-cost travel, easy parking with Covid-19 distancing which is safer than public transport,” he says.
“I firmly believe in this system that Europe has adopted many decades ago as it gives the young more responsibility and a sense of independence at an early age but of course they must get some training and pass the road rules test but they can only ride 50cc mopeds, scooters or the equivalent 1500W in electric mopeds all limited to 45km/h.
“These types of mopeds or scooters are permitted in Europe for car drivers to use with current car driver licence as easy and low-cost transport.”
In Australia, only Queensland, Western Australia, South Australiana, and the Northern Territory allow drivers to ride mopeds without getting a motorcycle licence.
Wayne says mopeds and e-bikes are continuing to grow across Europe as a cheap form of transport with no parking issues in cities and urban areas where they can park on the footpaths as long, they are not impeding or blocking pedestrians or traffic flow. Wayne has appeared in several videos promoting the petition.
More videos will be rolled out over the next four weeks through Facebook and YouTube. Better Deal:
After abandoning the ambitious NR500 project Honda finally joined the two-stroke brigade in the 500cc World Championship in 1982 with the V-3 NS500. Freddie Spencer finished third in the championship with two victories (behind Suzuki’s Franco Uncini and Yamaha’s Graeme Crosby) and won the title the following year.
For the 1984 season Honda unveiled its first four-cylinder two-stroke, the NSR500. It featured a revolutionary design that emphasised a low centre of gravity by placing the fuel tank under the motor and the four expansion chamber exhausts running over the top.
However despite Spencer winning two races at the beginning of the season he reverted to the NS500 by mid-season, eventually finishing fourth.
The NSR was redesigned for 1985 and with its now conventional layout proceed to be the best bike of its era, scoring ten titles from 1985 to 2001.
The bike seen here is Wayne Gardner’s 1987 championship winning bike (and is owned by him and can be seen on display in the National Motor Racing Museum at Mt Panorama).
By 1987 the focus of the NSR’s evolution was towards better ridability – power, at over 150hp, being deemed adequate. The V-angle was opened from 90 to 112 degrees (allowing the carburettors to be placed between the cylinder banks) and a primary balancer shaft was added to quell vibration.
ATAC exhaust valve actuation was also added. Another major change was that the crankshaft rotation was reversed, spinning essentially backwards in comparison to conventional engine design.
Wayne had seven victories and scored points in every round on his way to the ’87 title.
While the 5.821km Suzuka circuit itself was opened in the September of 1962, the Suzuka 8 Hour first came about in 1978.
It quickly became the most important race for production based bikes in the world.
American duo Wes Cooley and Mike Baldwin won that inaugural duel on July 30, 1978, on a Yoshimura backed GS1000 Suzuki.
Australia planted its flag at Suzuka in 1979 when a Team Honda Australia squad consisting of Tony Hatton and Mick Cole rode a CB900 to victory.
New Zealand took their first top step on the rostrum the following year when Kiwi Graeme Crosby partnered with American Wes Cooley to win the race on a Yoshimura GS1000 Suzuki.
While the race was a Japanese affair largely contested between Nippon manufacturers, it was not untiul 1982 that Japanese riders themselves tasted the champagne. That year the race was reduced to six hours due to an incoming typhoon and standing atop the podium were Shigeo Iijima and Shinji Hagiwara.
Wayne Gardner won the first of his quartet of Suzuka 8 Hour victories in 1985 while sharing the riding duties on the RVF750 Honda with Masaki Tokuno. Gardner went on to win again the next year, 1986, while partnered with Dominique Sarron.
1987 was the first time Yamaha took top honours and it came thanks to the talents of Kevin Magee, who became the fourth Australian to win a Suzuka 8 Hour. Magee won in partnership with German Martin Wimmer in 1987, the following year, 1988, the Horsham Hurricane’s victory was taken in conjunction with a then 28-year-old Wayne Rainey. The American also won his first 500cc GP race victory that year.
Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan won in 1991 on an RVF750 Honda.
Daryl Beattie then shared the victory podium with Gardner in 1992 on the Oki Honda Racing Team RVF750.
New Zealand’s Aaron Slight then won three on the trot with a different partner each time. The first victory in 1993 coming on a Kawasaki with Scott Russell, followed by two wins on the RC45, the first with Doug Polen and the second with Tadayuki Okada.
1993 also signalled the change from F1 or TT style motorcycles as the premier category at the Suzuka 8 Hour to ‘Superbikes’.
Colin Edwards and Noriyuki Haga put Yamaha back on top in 1996 before Honda then went on a ten-year winning streak that stretched all the way from 1997 through to 2006.
The first three of that decade long Honda winning streak were won on RC45s, the next four on VTR-SP twins, including Valentino Rossi’s 2001 victory with Colin Edwards on the Cabin Honda VTR-SP1, while the Fireblade took top honours in 2004/05/06.
Yukio Kagayama and Kousuke Akiyoshi broke Suzuki’s 24-year drought in 2007.
Carlos Checa and Ryuichi Kiyonari put the Fireblade back on top in 2008.
2009 saw the introduction of three-rider teams and another all-Japanese victory for Yoshimura Suzuki.
2010 saw Honda’s Fireblade kicked off another winning streak that carried right through to 2014.
Winners for Honda in this period included Leon Haslam, Takumi Takahashi, Jonathan Rea, Takaaki Nakagami, Tadayuki Okada and Michael Van der Mark.
2015 marked a new era of domination by the Yamaha Factory Racing Team and the YZF-R1M.
Japanese hotshot Katsuyuki Nakasuga has been part of all those victories while Pol Espargaro (2015/16) helped him to two, as did Alex Lowes (2016/17), while Bradley Smith (2015) and Michael Van der Mark (2017) played their parts in Yamaha’s recent string of success also.
In 2018, Nakasuga again partnered with Alex Lowes and Michael Van der Mark and the trio went on to claim Yamaha’s fourth successive victory.
Suzuka 8 Hour Most Successful Riders
Only five riders have taken four victories at the prestigious race. Wayne Gardner (1985-1986-1991-1992), Ryuichi Kiyonari (2005-2008-2010-2011), Shinichi Itoh (1997-1998-2006-2011), Katsuyuki Nakasuga (2015-2016-2017-2018), Michael Van der Mark (2013-2014-2017-2018).
The most successful rider at the Suzuka 8 Hour is Tohru Ukawa. The Japanese rider has five victories to his name (1997-1998-2000-2004-2005). All five were won on Honda machinery, two on the RC45, one on the VTR1000 and two more on Fireblades.
Suzuka 8 Hour Most Successful Manufacturers
Honda are the leading manufacturer with 27 wins. Next best is Yamaha with eight victories while Suzuki have five wins.
Kawasaki has only ever won the prestigious event once and that was some 25 years ago when Aaron Slight and Scott Russell piloted a ZXR750R to victory.