Australian motorcycling great Wayne Gardner knew what a tough path his eldest son had chosen, but he threw his full support behind his boy’s MotoGP dream anyway.
It’s what any good father would do and, in this case, it’s also because Remy Gardner is going to be a star.
The 1987 500cc world champion may well be be biased in that glowing evaluation of his son, but the 17-year-old backed it up with his actions at Phillip Island on Sunday where he finished a career-best 10th in his first season in the entry level Moto3 category.
“He came into this as a learning year and by the middle of it he was already on the pace of the fastest guys,” Gardner says.
“He loves being in the MotoGP paddock here – he feels totally at home. He’s adapted very well – I think he’s a real star of the future.”
Gardner says his son’s CIP Mahindra bike is off the pace this season, making his top-10 finish all the more impressive, and he’s hoping to nail down a move up to the Moto2 category from next season.
Remy broke a finger in a fall during qualifying for Sunday’s race and it didn’t surprise his proud dad one bit that he was able to fight through the pain.
“He’s very competitive and he’s as tough as nails – he’s very much an old-school rider,” Gardner says.
“And he works hard and he’s committed – that for me is the most critical point in why I think he will succeed.”
Gardner moved his family to Spain to be closer to the power base of motorcycle racing in a bid to improve Remy’s chances of success.
While it was a big step to land a Moto3 ride, it’s been a tough initiation at times for Gardner, who has come off his bike several times in the rough and tumble of the ultra-competitive racing.
“The big problem for me is that I know what can happen … I probably worry more than the average parent who knows nothing about the sport,” Gardner says.
“It’s traumatic but what can I do except support him? He’s talented and he’s fast and he’s good, so I can’t deny that talent.
“I prefer to help him, try to give him good advice and hopefully enjoy the journey with him.”
Following in the footsteps of a successful sporting parent is never easy but Gardner doesn’t doubt his son’s ability to make a name for himself in his own right.
“I have a list of boxes that it takes to do this and he ticks them all … (he has) what it takes to be a great champion,” Gardner says.
“I’ve watched him this year, with the speed that he’s adapted to it all, and I can see him going onto MotoGP and being a big star.
“He wants to be a world champion. He wants to win more races and win more championships than me and I’ll be very proud of him if he does.
“I’d be more than happy.”