Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) made history at Valencia today, winning the 2021 Moto2 World Championship.
The 23-year-old Australian is the son of Wayne Gardner, who won the 1987 500cc World Champion riding a Honda NSR500, and this afternoon’s success makes them only the sport’s second father/son World Champions.
However, the title-winning race was anything but easy for Gardner, who started from the third row of the grid, needing to finish at least 13th to secure the crown, if his team-mate and remarkable rookie Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) were to win.
Sure enough Fernandez did win the race, getting the better of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex) and Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex).
Gardner ran 11th for several laps, so he was far from secure, but finally he crossed the finish line in tenth, to win the championship by just four points.
The race was red-flagged at the end of the first lap, due to an incident that left oil on the track at Turn Two. The restart took place following a clean-up operation, the race shortened by several laps.
Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) finished fourth, less than two seconds off a podium result and well clear of Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Boscoscuro) and Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing Kalex).
Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) had a challenging Saturday which left him 25th on the grid, so he had a tough race today. The 22-year-old Thai rider did everything he could to fight his way forward but overtaking at this very tortuous circuit is notoriously tricky, so 19th was as good as he could do.
Rookie Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) was at Valencia this weekend, watching his rivals from trackside, but not riding, after he sustained a foot fracture in last weekend’s Algarve Grand Prix. Despite his absence from the grid he still finished his apprentice Moto2 season in eighth place, a stunning achievement.
Testing for the 2022 Moto2 series begins at Jerez, Spain, next weekend.