Remy Gardner has claimed the Moto2 World Championship title in the final race of the season after a thrilling finish in Valencia.
After a consistent season that saw Gardner finish on the top step five times, the 23-year-old Australian only needed to finish no lower than 13th to claim the title against teammate and rival Raul Fernandez. Fernandez, racing in his native Spain, won the red-flagged race, but fell just four points short in the race to the title.
Gardner, the son of former world champion Wayne, has raced in Moto2 since 2016, joining Red Bull KTM Ajo for the 2021 season. His maiden win came in late 2020 as the circuit hit Portugal, finishing the COVID-disrupted year in sixth place.
"I can't believe it," Gardner told media after his championship win.
"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 just want to say thanks to everyone who believed in me back in the days when not many people did, and I still can't believe it's happened. No words, mate."
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) November 14, 2021
Gardner was forced to sit out of three rounds of racing in 2018 after a training accident left him with two broken legs and an ankle, though the 23-year-old credits the experience to helping him build mental strength.
"It's definitely been an intense season. Raul [Fernandez] did an amazing job this year as a rookie and he really put it to me, he made me work for it for sure." Gardner added.
"But it's such an amazing season. So many podiums, so many great races, five wins. There were times where I would finish second and think it was a bad day, but you really just have to enjoy every moment. What an amazing but intense season.
"Was just trying 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."
Gardner will move to MotoGP next season to race with Tech3 KTM, alongside Fernandez.