News 24 Mar 2014

Hand injury casts Gibbs into doubt for MXN opener

KTM contender hopeful he'll be on track at Broadford.

Image: Andy McGechan/

Image: Andy McGechan/

KTM Motocross Racing Team rider Kirk Gibbs is facing a race against the clock to make this weekend’s Monster Energy MX Nationals first round after sustaining a knuckle injury in New Zealand on Saturday.

The team is confident Gibbs will be behind the gates at Broadford come Sunday, despite initial scans indicating a chipped bone in his right-hand pinky finger knuckle. He’ll undergo further observations today.

Gibbs was fastest in the qualifying session at the time of his incident, in which he made contact with a track-marking stake, but avoided falling after the collision.

“I feel I’m riding the best I ever have and I’m coming into full stride just at the right time,” Gibbs commented after qualifying fastest at Taupo. “I can’t remember which lap I hit the stake on, but I think it was the one after my fastest lap.

“I was at about three quarter pace and didn’t even see it but I was right at the edge of the track where it set me up better for the next corner in fourth gear and pretty much on it. I was lucky I didn’t go down hard. Straight away I couldn’t feel the side of my hand, I tried to shake it off and did another 10-15 minutes.

“It didn’t feel too bad until I pulled up and it started swelling. I’ll get it checked out, but I’ll definitely be at Broadford. There is only a little bit of bone chipped, and it’s only my pinky finger. I’ve ridden through worse than that… maybe I’ll throw some hand guards on!”

Team manager Rob Twyerould believes Gibbs should be fit for Broadford, but is yet to make an official decision.

“He’ll be getting it checked out in Queensland and fingers crossed he’ll be alright for the weekend,” Twyerould explained. “For Gibbsy, the timing of it was incredibly upsetting as he’s really blossomed lately.

“He had just set the fastest time, which over [Cody Cooper] in New Zealand is a big thing, considering he and Ford [Dale] have only topped him a few times before. It shows he’s obviously got some speed right now.”

The incident further compacts KTM’s injury woes after Gibbs’ teammate Ford Dale was sidelined with a series of injuries just last week.