KTM MEN BATTLE THE TOKOROA TALC
KTM Motocross Racing Team riders Kirk Gibbs and Ford Dale struggled to make headway in tricky conditions as the New Zealand motocross championships continued today in the volcanic powder of Tokoroa, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
New Zealander Cody Cooper won the day from Brad Groombridge and Billy Mackenzie.
The KTM men started well enough, Ford Dale qualifying just two-tenths of a second behind Cody Cooper and Kirk gives qualifying third fastest.
Starts and minor crashes in the slippery dust however, held the KTM men back on the day with both Gibbs and Dale battling to make their way back through the pack.
The challenging conditions of the Tokoroa circuit made progress difficult, the KTM men struggling to bring the performance of the KTM450SX-F machines to bear on the track’s combination of slippery fine dirt over hard-packed ruts.
Gibbs matched his Round One result of fourth overall with 4-3-4 finishes, while Dale toiled hard to return 5-6-5 results.
The next round of the New Zealand MX championships takes place at Pukekohe on March 9.
Rob Twyerould. “A very physical track for us today, Ford’s description was best when he mentioned talcum powder. With the hard layer underneath it was very difficult to ride, and apart from the top two I don't think anyone else got through the day without one crash if not three or four. The Kiwis ride on that volcanic stuff all the time. We really couldn't get the starts we needed today but we've talked about the problem and we have a new technique in mind so look for a big improvement from us next time. Much as we say were only here for preparation we all want to be competitive so roll on the next round - both boys have ridden Pukekohe before so we are looking forward to it.”
Kirk Gibbs: (4th Overall) “My day was alright, the track was pretty wild and I'm pretty pumped to be leaving here still healthy and still building towards the big picture. It looked really good in the morning but all the soft layering gets pushed into one line and then it’s hard to stay out of the soft stuff which is so slippery. The bumps get really square-edged but some get hidden in the powder and it makes the track really hard to judge when you have traction and when you don’t. Starts weren’t that great today and there were a few silly mistakes but I probably got better as the day went on.”
Ford Dale: (5th Overall) “Not a good day for us. I'm not too happy with how we went and I didn't feel comfortable on the track - it felt dangerous to me. I qualified well just two-tenths behind Cooper, but in the first Moto I went down on the second lap and never really regrouped from there, I just didn't feel it all day. I'm here to learn and to build for our series but that aside I want to win and I feel I didn't ride anywhere near my capabilities. We'll be back up there at the next round.”
2014 New Zealand Motocross Championships Rd.2
1. C.Cooper, 2. B.Groombridge 3.B.Mackenzie, 4.K.Gibbs, 5. F.Dale