Motorcycle champion free after “horrendous” two weeks in Japanese prison

Remember motorcycle champion Wayne Gardner? For the past two weeks he’s been locked up in a Japanese prison for allegedly
Source: YouTube

Remember motorcycle champion Wayne Gardner?

For the past two weeks he’s been locked up in a Japanese prison for allegedly assaulting three men in a road rage incident at the Japanese Motorcycle Grand Prix.

He arrived back in Sydney this morning, telling the media he was “very happy to free”.

“It was horrendous. I never want to do that again,” he said.

“I’ll talk more about the details later but right now I just want to go home.

“It was the worst and longest 12 days of my life.”

So, what happened?

Gardner and his son Remy were involved in a minor traffic crash on October 16.

Apparently the mirror of their hire car clipped a van driven by three Japanese men, who pursued the pair.

It’s reported a confrontation took place and Gardner allegedly turned violent, grabbing one of the men by the collar.

He was arrested on the spot, and despite denying the accusations, was held without charge by the police for 12 days.

The 57-year-old told NewsCorp it was “a misunderstanding” and described it as “a waste of time and resources over such a minor little thing that could have been resolved by sitting down and talking”.

He also claimed his alleged victim used the incident to make money and described them as “the three Pinocchios”.

“Extortion was the name of the game,” he said.

“They were asking for a lot of money.”

In the end he paid a 300,000 yen ($3000) fine and had to admit guilt to be released.

The ‘Wollongong Whiz’ was in Japan to cheer on his son, who was competing in the Moto2 class.

“It’s so disappointing. I’ve missed out on three races with my son and I am sure that’s affected him,” Gardner said.

Gardner, who now lives in Spain, rose to fame when he became 500cc world motorcycle champion in 1987.

What do you think of the incident? Have you ever had a brush with the law overseas?





  1. Peter Silcock  

    Just because you were once world champion does not excuse you from violating another countries laws or standards.
    Take responsibility for your actions and face up to the consequences. Before you even start about conditions and treatment in an overseas institution best have a close look at how your country treats foreign nationals who fall foul of the law.
    I was a great admirer of the man and his achievements, unfortunately he has now gone down in my estimation of him.

    • Ian Rennie  

      Typical, it seems you subscribe to ‘the tall poppy syndrome’ very common in Australia.
      He was ok for the Japs when he was winning races on their rice burners and for you also it seems.
      So quick to condemn one of our own.

  2. Frank  

    I’ve read that Japan is a shame-based society – where people are raised to not do certain things as that would bring shame upon them or their family

    so when someone does step outside the expected acceptable behaviour, and you get arrested, there is a presumption of guilt – and something like 99% of people who front court in Japan are found guilty

    so the basic thing is – avoid going to court – which starts with – avoid doing anything unexpected in public.

  3. lurch  

    In a foreign country you are fair game, and that 3 G proves that point. I guess the next thing is they might try suing for mental anguish or soft tissue injury.

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