KTM’S GIBBS IN A THREE-WAY TIE WONTHAGGI
His third solid points haul of the championship including his first moto win of the year gave KTM Motocross Racing Team rider Kirk Gibbs a stake in a rare, three-way tie as the third round of the Monster Energy MX Nationals series unfolded at Wonthaggi in Victoria.
After qualifying fastest and taking third in Super Pole, Gibbs got the best of a full-on MX1 slugfest to win the opening moto ahead of defending champion Matt Moss and Adam Monea.
Coming back from a poor start in the second moto to finish sixth left the South Australian with 60 points, along with Monea and Moss, who were awarded first and second (respectively) on the day, courtesy of higher final Moto positions.
After three of ten rounds, Gibbs has executed the textbook definition of a solid start, and sits second in the MX Nats championship, 22 points in arrears of Matt Moss.
Rob Twyerould: “That first race today was brilliant. It didn't matter who won, it was just a fantastic race with a freight train of guys going fast for the first 15 minutes. When a few guys started to have problems Monea and Gibbs both made their move, and then Gibbsy had a fantastic line through the whoops that he used to take the lead. Moss made a push at the end, but Kirk held strong and it was great for him to get that win. In the second one Monea and Gibbsy both started outside the top 10 and Kirk struggled to get his rhythm before coming through well. He caught Coops in the last few moments and if he could have got him, he would have won the day by a point. Overall though, we only lost two points in the championship through Super Pole, so it was a real solid weekend's racing and Kirk is proving to be one of the top dogs, so I'm very happy.”
Kirk Gibbs (KTM 450 SX-F) - “The win was good but I'm pretty disappointed about the second moto. I just didn't ride very well - didn't have the good lines and struggled a bit. In that first race I rode smart, and it pretty much came to me as I made my way through, but in the second one it took me 15 minutes to get going and by that time there was too big a gap to catch Cody and get the overall. But I've got to take the positives; to get a moto win is great and my speed is good, over the last few years I've been a little inconsistent, so to be sitting with three podiums from three rounds is a good thing.”
In MX2 Racing, Hamish Harwood took his second MX2 podium in three rounds, finishing third on the day behind fellow New Zealander Kayne Lamont and Luke Clout. Instant Security KTM rider Brenden Harrison and Tune Tech KTM’s Kale Makeham were sixth and seventh on the day and currently hold fourth and fifth in the championship.
Hamish Harwood (KTM 250 SX) – “I've been working really hard on the starts and I got two good ones today – it's amazing what that does for you! I loved the track; it got rough and gnarly today and it quite suited me. I'm just really trying to make every round count and not have a bad one so I can keep working forwards. Now I'm just looking forward to the rest of the sand tracks and working hard on my fitness. The main thing is to stay consistent and up front in every round. I'm rapped at how I'm going this year, I was hoping to be top five by this stage and work forward so to have two podiums already is fantastic.”
In MXD racing Bolton’s KTM-mounted Jack Simpson’s second straight round win has moved him into the lead of the hotly-contested MX Development championship. The Victorian took round honours ahead of Jed Beaton and Egan Mastin and now holds a hair’s-breadth lead of just three points as the Under 19's really begin to wind it up.
Monster Energy MX1 standings after 3 of 10 rounds: 1. Matt Moss 238, 2. Kirk Gibbs 216, 3. Adam Monea 202, 4. Jake Moss 186, 5. Billy Mackenzie 181, 6. Kade Mosig 169, 7. Rhys Carter 168, 8. Hayden Mellross 159, 9. Jay Marmont 156, 10. Jacob Wright 142
Motul MX2 championship standings: 1. Luke Clout 207, 2. Kayne Lamont 194, 3. Hamish Harwood 192, 4. Brenden Harrison 180, 5. Kale Makeham 167, 6. Jay Wilson 149, 7. Errol Willis 140, 8. Wade Hunter 140, 9. Luke Arbon 137, 10. Ryan Marmont 135
Pirelli MXD championship standings: 1. Jack Simpson 219, 2. Jed Beaton 216, 3. Egan Mastin 215, 4. Nathan Crawford 195, 5. Wilson Todd 170, 6. Jayden Rykers 153, 7. Kyle Webster 146, 8. Brock McLeary 138, 9. Wayde Carter 132, 10. Jesse McNally 128