News 24 Feb 2014

Gibbs top Australian as Cooper sweeps NZ MX at Tokoroa

Mackenzie's MX Nationals preparation takes shape with third overall.

Image: Andy McGechan/BikesportNZ.

Image: Andy McGechan/BikesportNZ.

South Australian Kirk Gibbs was the top-performing Australian in Sunday’s second round of the 2014 Backflips New Zealand Motocross Championship, finishing fourth overall in MX1 at Tokoroa.

Gibbs matched his round one result of fourth with 4-3-4 finishes, the event led by defending champion Cody Cooper (The Honda Shop Racing) from Brad Groombridge (Suzuki) and Billy Mackenzie (Altherm JCR Yamaha). Cooper was in dominant form once again, sweeping all three motos.

“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,” Gibbs explained. “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.”

KTM Motocross Racing Team teammate Ford Dale was fifth overall via 5-6-5 placings, also struggling to gel with the circuit.

“Not a good day for us,” Dale said. “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.”

Mackenzie, who is also preparing for the Australian MX Nationals, was content with a podium but was yet another rider to comment on the gruelling track conditions.

“It was an average day, but on the positive side we are second in the championship now,” the Scotsman commented. “I should’ve been at least second behind Cody today. The track was tricky and you had to ride within your limits or it would’ve bitten you.”

In the MX2 class it was again Red Bull Husqvarna’s Kayne Lamont who took victory, from Hamish Dobbyn and Australian Jay Wilson (Altherm JCR Yamaha). Defending champion Scott Columb was sixth overall.

The next round of the New Zealand championships takes place at Pukekohe on 9 March.

2014 Backflips New Zealand Motocross Championship
Round two – Tokoroa

MX1 overall results:
1. Cody Cooper 75
2. Brad Groombridge 64
3. Billy MacKenzie 60
4. Kirk Gibbs 56
5. Michael Phillips 46
6. Yu Hirata 44
7. Ford Dale 43
8. Jesse Wiki 36
9. Ethan Martens 34
10. Dion Picard 32

MX1 championship standings (after two rounds):
1. Cody Cooper 145
2. Billy MacKenzie 124
3. Ford Dale 110
4. Brad Groombridge 110
5. Kirk Gibbs 110
6. Yu Hirata 88
7. Michael Phillips 74
8. Jesse Wiki 68
9. Dion Picard 65
10. Ethan Martens 61

MX2 overall results:
1. Kayne Lamont 69
2. Hamish Dobbyn 63
3. Jay Wilson 56
4. Hamish Harwood 52
5. John Phillips 49
6. Scott Columb 43
7. Hayden Kanters 39
8. Dakota Court 32
9. Nick Saunders 29
10. Cohen Chase 28

MX2 championship standings (after two rounds):
1. Kayne Lamont 141
2. Hamish Dobbyn 114
3. Scott Columb 112
4. Jay Wilson 111
5. Hamish Harwood 97
6. John Phillips 96
7. Dakota Court 64
8. Nick Saunders 61
9. Hayden Kanters 60
10. Rhys Carter 58

Click here for detailed results