Gibbs underwent surgery on his thumb just three weeks ago following a heavy impact at the previous round, but still managed to set the second fastest time in the Top 10 Shootout, just 0.060s from qualifying quickest.
In moto one, the KTM 450 SX-F rider recovered from an average start and moved his way forward from sixth to inside the top three.
Showing great form in the closing stages of the race, he capitalised on a rival’s mistake to move within striking distance of second and then made a move stick with two laps to go to secure the runner-up position.
Gibbs again worked his way inside the top three in the moto two and maintained P3 from half-race distance to the chequered flag, securing third overall for the round.
For Crawford, Coffs Harbour marked his first national motocross race of the season after breaking his femur and requiring surgery in the build-up to Wonthaggi’s opening round of ProMX.
The Queensland-based rider qualified P4 in MX2 with a 1m45.987s posted in the muddy conditions and showed impressive pace in the opening moto to move into P3.
Crawford ultimately finished the race fourth after recovering from a crash on lap six and charging his way back from P7.
In race two, Crawford slotted into second in the early stages onboard his 250 SX-F before mounting a charge in the latter stages of the moto, only missing out on victory by a narrow 1.2 seconds.
With 4-2 moto scores, Crawford finished second overall at round six in what was a promising return to national motocross.
KTM Racing Team now shifts its attention to round seven of the 2022 ProMX Championship at Queensland Moto Park on 14 August.
Kirk Gibbs: “I think this track sort of favoured me a little bit, being so deep and so gnarly. The track wasn’t quite as fast as what it could have been, but I’m really happy because three weeks ago I was laying up in a hospital bed. My thumb is sore right now and race day was a little harder than what it was practicing with it. I still think I am a top three guy, definitely, going into the last two rounds. I need to give my thumb a little bit of rest and then go back after it!”
Nathan Crawford: “It’s a big weight lifted off my shoulders. It was a like a six-month build-up, with an injury like that, when you are sitting on the couch, the anticipation builds and you want to come back. Basically, today was all of that weight off my shoulders. It felt really good and I want to give a massive shoutout to Kyle Blunden and the whole team at KTM, my mechanic Luke - they have been so patient with me over the last six months and I couldn’t ask for a better way to repay them. In the second moto, I got a reasonable start and by the end of the first lap I was in second. I tried to tag on to Wilson [Todd] in front of me, he’s obviously got some really good sprint speed and he took off on the first four laps. For the last 20 minutes of the race, I hunted him down, and I was right on him in the last 10 minutes of the race. I was sitting there learning, gaining some confidence for the upcoming rounds in Queensland."