News 13 Jul 2014

Gibbs maintains pressure with Cononondale MX1 win

KTM charger one step closer to Moss in MX Nationals title chase.

Image: Simon Makker.

Image: Simon Makker.

KTM Motocross Racing Team rider Kirk Gibbs was victorious on the sweeping hills of Green Park at Conondale in Queensland today, round seven of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals.

Gibbs edged out title arch-rival Matt Moss for the round by a slim two-point margin, and only narrowed the gap in the series by a single point due to Moss’ Super Pole win (five points for first, four points for Gibbs in second).

It was a picture of consistency for Gibbs with a 2-2-1 scorecard, but only marginally better than Moss’ 1-3-2 effort. The title is set to go down to the wire between the pair at Coolum next month.

Third overall was Billy Mackenzie aboard the retro-livery CDR Yamaha, also consistent with fourth in moto one, a win in moto two and fifth in the final outing.

Adam Monea was fourth overall for NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki, as Brock Winston (Husqvarna Motocross Racing Team) rode to his best MX1 result in fifth.

International legend Ben Townley was sixth for Penrite Honda Racing – also sporting a heritage theme – at the circuit he dominated at in 2012. His next appearance is expected to come at Coolum’s final round.

Another Kiwi in Rhys Carter (Team Motul Suzuki) was seventh, heading a trio of Aussie rising stars in Jesse Dobson (KTM), Hayden Mellross (Raceline Suzuki) and Jacob Wright, who was debuting alongside Mackenzie and Jay Marmont at CDR Yamaha.

Marmont announced his retirement during the lunch break, directly following an inspired third place finish in moto one after he led the opening half of the moto. From there, his day slowly unraveled with ongoing wrist injuries.

It was also a difficult weekend for Kade Mosig (DPH Motorsport Yamaha) and Jake Moss (NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki), both bowing out early in moto one, however Moss did eventually recover to 15th.

Moss was a no show for the remaining motos, but Mosig bounced back with fifth in moto two and third in the second to secure 12th overall.

Lawson Bopping’s return at SIC Racing was short lived, running third throughout much of moto one before exiting the moto with a technical problem and not returning.

In the opening moto, Moss edged out Marmont to take the holeshot, before veteran Marmont shot to the front and put some serious distance between himself, Matt Moss, Jake Moss and Mosig.

Privateer Dobson clawed his way into the top four by the end of the opening lap, but it was the Moss brothers who had everyone talking soon after on lap two of the race.

A coming together of yellow and green saw Matt and Jake clash, sending Jake flipping off his bike and ending up at the local hospital – unable to take part in any further racing for the day after the final moto.

Despite slipping back to fourth place, Matt Moss claimed the lead on the fourth lap, a lead that he did not relinquish for the remainder of the race as he claimed maximum points.

Gibbs, who was in seventh after a less than ideal start, clawed his way back and passed Marmont into second on the penultimate lap, and the pair finished in second and third respectively. Mackenzie, finished the race in fourth while Townley finished in fifth.

In the second race, Matt Moss took the holeshot from Marmont, Mackenzie, Gibbs, Monea and Townley. Mackenzie didn’t take long to stamp his authority on the race, shooting into the lead in the first half of the opening lap, and controlling the moto going on to record an emphatic race victory.

Mackenzie, Moss and Gibbs were all within striking distance of each other throughout the race, and it was on the final lap when Gibbs made his move.

The KTM pilot moved past the red-plate holder into second and made a real charge for Mackenzie – and as the pair approached the last jump they were neck and neck. It was tough to call watching from the line, but the timing doesn’t lie – with Mackenzie holding on for the race win by one tenth of a second, Gibbs finishing second and Moss back in third.

Monea finished the race in fourth with Mosig coming home in fifth. For the final moto, Marmont joined Jake Moss and crowd favourite Bopping on the sidelines in a whittled down field .

While injuries took their toll on some, it was the usual crew out front, with Matt Moss taking the holeshot from Gibbs, Mackenzie, Mosig and Monea. Mosig soon rode into third and it wasn’t until lap six that Gibbs made his move at the front of the field.

At the bottom of the huge downhill, Gibbs pulled a clean move, setting up wide early before cutting to Moss’ inside and taking the main line to claim the lead. From there Gibbs took the race win and the round win, leaving Moss having to settle with second in the race with Mosig in third. Monea and Mackenzie rounded out the top five.

The results at Conondale mean that with three rounds of the championship left to go, it looks to have come down to a battle between two – Matt Moss and Gibbs. Moss holds an 18 point lead from Gibbs in the title race with Mackenzie a further 50 points behind, Mackenzie another seven back, and Jack Moss a further 55 points in arrears.

The series now heads to Raymond Terrace in New South Wales for round eight, which takes place on 3 August.

2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship
Round seven – Conondale, QLD

MX1 overall results:
1. Kirk Gibbs 99
2. Matt Moss 97
3. Billy Mackenzie 89
4. Adam Monea 77
5. Brock Winston 72
6. Ben Townley 71
7. Rhys Carter 69
8. Jesse Dobson 64
9. Hayden Mellross 63
10. Jacob Wright 60
11. Lewis Woods 59
12. Kade Mosig 56
13. Jesse O’Farrell 49
14. Jay Marmont 48
15. Darcy Jones 47
16. Ted Allman 38
17. Sam Martin 38
18. Scott Green 34
19. Daniel McEntee 33
20. Julien Craeye 28

MX1 championship standings:
1. Matt Moss 550
2. Kirk Gibbs 532
3. Billy Mackenzie 482
4. Adam Monea 475
5. Jake Moss 420
6. Kade Mosig 386
7. Jacob Wright 364
8. Hayden Mellross 357
9. Rhys Carter 351
10. Brock Winston 345
11. Jay Marmont 338
12. Sam Martin 325
13. Lewis Woods 309
14. Jesse Dobson 303
15. Ben Townley 139
16. James Booth Elliott 124
17. Jesse O’Farrell 112
18. Matt Ginders 106
19. Brad Groombridge 96
20. Cody Cooper 81

Click here for detailed results