Features 16 Aug 2012

Catching Up: Kirk Gibbs

MotoOnline.com.au catches up with Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing's Kirk Gibbs.

At the commencing of the 2012 Monster Energy MX Nationals series, Serco Yamaha Metal Mulisha Racing’s Kirk Gibbs was marked as as serious championship contender in the hotly contested MX2 class.

After finishing in the runner-up spot for two years running, the South Australian was in the box seat to take out the number one plate, but it seems that it was just not to be.

A crash while doing a pre-season state race at Wonthaggi in Victoria saw him suffer a scaphoid injury, which has become progressively more intrusive as he soldiers through the outdoors.

Eight rounds down the track, that injury would prove detrimental to his 2012 campaign. MotoOnline.com.au caught up with Gibbs today to talk about his current situation and his plans for the future.

Kirk Gibbs has suffered from the dreaded scaphoid injury throughout the season. Image: Dan McCallum.

It has been a difficult season for you so far, coming off of second place finishes in the championship for the last two years. What has it been like from your side of the fence? It’s obviously been a bit of a struggle through injury and other things.

Yeah, two weeks before the first round, I injured my wrist at Wonthaggi. It didn’t feel too bad when I did it, just iced it up and stuff and it got pretty sore. So I went and got x-rays and stuff, and nothing showed up.

So I just didn’t ride for two weeks, went to Conondale’s first round of the nationals and rode there and actually went 1-1, so everything was going pretty good. I think I rode once in between Conondale and Coonabarabran, and I went pretty good there as well .

After Coonabarabran I tried to start riding a fair bit and it just really started hurting, it wasn’t real good. It just slowly kept getting a bit worse and the more I tried to ride during the week, it got worse and worse.

Obviously because I wasn’t able to ride that much I was sort of losing just my fitness on the bike, just needed to have a lot more seat time, fitness and stuff like that as well.

It was just ongoing the whole time and then by the time I got to Wanneroo I definitely wasn’t very fit, especially in the 30-minute moto. Then I found out at Murray Bridge that it was broken and since then I’ve just been trying to manage it.

I didn’t ride up at all up to Hervey Bay, I rode a couple of days before and that was it. Since Hervey I’ve slowly started to ride a bit more here and there, but still not getting on the bike as much as I want. But yeah I slowly feel like I’m getting better on the bike with a bit more seat time. So it’s just been a massive struggle.

With the scaphoid bone, which you broke in your wrist, is it just the process of letting it heal naturally?

Yeah, at the moment I’m up in Queensland and I just got a scan done. It’s still not fully healed, but my doctor seems to think it is still on the right path. We’re just going to meet up in a few months and if it’s still healing up, all good.

But if not, then probably towards the end of supercross we’re going to have to look at getting a bone graft to make it heal up a bit quicker.

A strong supercross season is the aim for Gibbs in 2012. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

You are the current number two in Australia on the MX2 bikes. So this year you are currently seventh in the championship, but what is the plan for you in the future? Would you like to stay in the 250 class next year, or do you feel it is time to step up even if you haven’t won a championship yet?

Yeah I think obviously that the Lites class is packed a lot more with guys that are going good, [Cheyne] Boyd stepped down, [Adam] Monea is going really well this year, [Kade] Mosig and [Josh] Cachia are going really well. All of those guys are going really well and if you don’t get the start with those guys, they run away with it, including my teammate [Luke Styke].

Obviously the class is tough, and I was really looking forward to a good season up until I hurt myself. Even though I haven’t had the best of years, I think I definitely could have charged for the championship if I didn’t have the injury.

I think I’m ready to step up to a 450, I just need the opportunity. I know I’ll ride one well and I reckon I could run up front in that class, but it’s just whether I get the opportunity.

This year you are based back in South Australia, obviously a lot better to be back at home. Do you feel if you can get that wrist sorted, that you could have good preparation for supercross?

Yeah I’m going to be up in Queensland for a few weeks after the motocross, just getting a little bit of testing done. Then I’m going to head back to South Australia to ride with Luke Arbon at his place, so that should be good. Hopefully my wrist doesn’t give me too much trouble during supercross and I can have a good pre-season.

I really want to have a good supercross series, I haven’t had the best ones for the past few years and without having a good motocross I want to have a good supercross. So yeah, I’m definitely going to put 110 percent into supercross this year.