Wayne’s World: Takeoff Time

| December 14, 2010

Former 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner will be offering his GP insights on a regular basis to cyclenews.com readers and we’re happy to have him. For more from the Wollongong Wonder, visit his website at www.waynegardnerapproved.com.auFREQUENT FLYER POINTS, ANYONE?Though it hasn’t been 100-percent confirmed yet, it looks like my son Remy will be racing in Spain next year. We’re talking to a couple of the best junior teams in the country with a view to contesting the CMV pre-GP 125 Championship. It’s a fantastic opportunity and will consist of about eight rounds as well as testing. The bad news is that it means a lot of long plane rides to Europe – just what I need! But Remy really wants to do it.After only a few outings he already loves road racing more than anything and is prepared to do all his schoolwork via the Internet while we’re away. That part’s crucial. He absolutely must continue his education when we’re on the road. After a solid three years in dirt track, we’re now at the next stage of his career, and as young as he is, 2011 is the ideal time for him to try his hand overseas. You only have to look at the age of someone like this year’s 125cc World Champion Marc Marquez to realize that it’s really now or never.Spain is the international center of junior road racing, plain and simple, and if you want to have any chance of making it, that’s where you’ve got to compete and make your mark. But it will be a massive step up, and you’ve got to assume that a full transition to road racing will take another three years. That will bring him to 16. If everything’s gone well, then he’ll hopefully be good enough to enter GPs, which he’ll then be old enough to have a go at. So next year’s move is really ideal timing. It doesn’t mean he has to win straight away, but he will have to learn very quickly.

While it’s going to be massively hard, I’m looking forward to the challenge of guiding him and helping him step around the little hurdles and landmines that will definitely appear along the way. But I’m also worried. Will he cope with the enormous amount of travel involved? How will he deal with the amount of time spent away from school and his friends? These are enormous issues for me, as is the obvious potential for injury. But Remy wants to go road racing (so does Luca, by the way) and this is the best way forward. We just need to take a safe approach and treat 2011 as a learning year.In addition to his Spanish commitments, we’ll also look at doing some road racing in Australia because he’ll then be old enough to compete in National Championships. It will just depend on dates that don’t clash with European races. On top of that, we’ll continue in dirt track at both state and National Championship level. I think that’ll still have a lot to offer in terms of refining his technique even further. Whatever way it all pans out, 2011 is certainly going to be interesting.CHRISTMAS WISH LISTAfter a long and hectic year it’s finally time to put the feet up, and I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thanks to all my Weekly Review readers for all their support over the past nine-months, and also to wish you all a very merry Christmas. This week’s Review will be the last for 2010, but it’ll be back in mid-January. Something tells me there’ll be plenty to talk about next year and I’m already looking forward to getting amongst it again.On an even more important note, I’d like to wish everyone an especially safe holiday period, particularly when it comes to riding and driving. The festive season is a time when everyone tends to drop their guard on the roads, and this is often all it takes to cause accidents. Please remember: if you’re tired, take a rest. Don’t speed. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Use common sense on the road. Anticipate the problems before they arise. And whether you happen to be riding or driving, be courteous and patient towards other road users. It’s a sad fact of life that many won’t survive the coming holiday period. I implore you to do your best to make sure you don’t become another statistic. Until next year, all the very best.Wayne

500cc World Champion