Red flag denies Remy Assen podium

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Remy Gardner was denied a debut WorldSBK podium finish after a strong first race in Assen was cut short by a red flag with six laps to go.

The GYTR GRT Yamaha riders put a wet Free Practice 3 session to good use, getting in solid laps on rain tyres ahead of the damp Tissot Superpole qualifier. A strong Superpole for Gardner saw him secure sixth place on the grid (1’43.633), which meant a second row start for Race 1.

With skies dark closing in and drops of rain falling on all sectors as the WorldSBK field waited to start, tyre choice was a difficult decision but both riders opted to tackle the race on full slicks. The GYTR GRT Yamaha riders struggled in the early stages with the wet asphalt, but as the track dried out they both found pace. After sitting ninth on the opening lap, Remy was improving lap by lap and with the race leader Spinelli on intermediate tyres dropping back into the chasing pack, the Aussie, sat in fourth position, looked set to fight for a podium in the closing stages of the race. However, the red flag came out with six laps to go preventing the podium dream.

Remy Gardner

Superpole: P6 / Race 1: P4

“The grid was hectic, I changed my mind like three times, but in the end we made the right choice by opting for the slick tyres. I tried to play safe in the early stages and find the limit, it was a bit scary to ride with slicks on wet asphalt, but lap after lap I got the feeling and I was quickly starting to catch the riders in front of me. Luckily the sun came out again so I could improve my lap times, but unfortunately the red flag denied us a likely podium finish. Honestly, I thought we were on the podium initially, Nicholas (Spinelli) was so far away! Anyway, we should be happy with the result, we know we can fight for the top positions and that’s the most important thing. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have some dry races trying to fight again for a place on the rostrum.”