News 24 Aug 2014

Gibbs maintains MX1 pressure with Gladstone overall

Wright and Mackenzie split moto wins for CDR Yamaha.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

CDR Yamaha duo Jacob Wright and Billy Mackenzie may have taken out the motos at Gladstone’s penultimate retro-inspired Jono Porter Memorial round of the Monster Energy MX Nationals at Gladstone, however it was the consistency of title threat Kirk Gibbs that won him the overall on Sunday.

Gibbs remains an outside chance of claiming the Monster Energy MX1 title after taking home his third round win of the year, via second in moto one and a fighting third in the final 30-minute outing of the round.

Mackenzie stormed to victory with a dominant second moto performance, however he missed out on the overall by a single point after battling to fifth in the opening moto. He fended off advancements from NPS Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Monea in moto two, who rounded out the overall podium with 4-2 finishes.

First moto winner Wright was tied on points with Monea but fell short of the podium overall on countback, credited fourth after surging to sixth in moto two.

Fifth overall was Team Motul Suzuki’s defending champion and current red plate holder Matt Moss, whose 3-4 scorecard saw him lose just three points in the title race to overall winner Gibbs when you factor in Super Pole. The difference stands at 37 entering Coolum’s finale next weekend.

In the exciting Go Pro Superpole fastest lap shootout, the big guns of Moss and Gibbs had to settle for fourth and fifth place in the top five. It was Wright who backed up his Super Pole win at Raymond Terrace in round eight, clocking the fastest lap time with at 2m08.411 to take the maximum points on offer and take first pick of the start gates.

In the opening race of the day, Moss shot out in front to take the holsehot, before Mackenzie zipped past to take the race lead. Wright also got an ideal start, and while he was third heading into the opening corner, the young 19-year old shot through to move into second shortly after.

It was a great opening lap for Mackenzie, but his lead didn’t last long – just after passing the finishing line he was overtaken in front of the mechanics area by Wright and within the next two laps he was also passed by Gibbs and Moss.

Wright then showed his local crowd why he is billed as one of the top young talents in the MX Nationals paddock – putting a clear gap between himself and Gibbs who was in second. Gibbs was also working hard, and before long he had created a significant gap of his own from third placed Moss.

Mackenzie appeared to be struggling in fourth and was forced to work hard by Monea and Kade Mosig (DPH Yamaha). Jake Moss was having problems in the race and found himself back in 21st position at one stage, before moving up into 16th by the halfway mark.

On the 10th lap Monea made a pass on Mackenzie and moved into fourth, while Wright had the tricky task of weaving through lapped riders with 10 minutes still remaining. From that point on though, the top five positions remained as they were with Wright claiming top spot on the podium from Gibbs and Moss.

Monea finished in fourth from Mackenzie, while DPH Yamaha pilots Mosig and Sam Martin battled their way to sixth and seventh respectively. Jake Moss finished the moto in 12th.

In the second race it was Mackenzie who again shot into a lead on the opening lap, after a great burst of speed gave him the holeshot. Mackenzie was closely followed by Gibbs, race one winner Wright and Monea – the Kawasaki rider moving into third on the opening lap.

Wright’s fairytale day had it’s first glitch on the opening lap when he fell back to 10th spot, while Jake Moss, Jay Marmont (CDR Yamaha) and Matt Moss settled into fourth, fifth and sixth. Matt Moss passed Marmont on the second lap to move into fifth and after three laps, the top five riders were all two seconds apart.

Gibbs and Monea exchanged positions several times throughout the next few laps, jostling for second position and giving the crowd one of the best individual battles of the day. Monea eventually pulled away from Gibbs and headed for Mackenzie while Matt Moss passed brother Jake on lap five and zeroed in on his main rival Gibbs in third.

By the 20-minute mark of the 30-minute moto, the gap between Matt and Jake in fourth and fifth was out to over 15 seconds. Up front, Mackenzie rode the perfect race and was never really challenged – taking out the race win in emphatic fashion.

Gibbs chipped away at Monea over the last few laps of the race and made a huge play for second spot on the final few corners. It looked like the KTM pilot would pass flying over the jump heading into the last turn, but as they reached the line it was Monea who managed to hold on for second place. Matt Moss finished the race in fifth position while brother Jake finished in sixth.

In the overall championship standings, Matt Moss is 37 points ahead of Gibbs heading into the final round at Coolum. Mackenzie is a further 44 points behind in third.

The final round of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals takes place in Coolum on 30-31 August.

2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship
Round nine – Gladstone, QLD

MX1 overall results:
1. Kirk Gibbs 62
2. Billy Mackenzie 61
3. Adam Monea 60
4. Jacob Wright 60
5. Matt Moss 58
6. Hayden Mellross 46
7. Jake Moss 45
8. Sam Martin 45
9. Jesse Dobson 44
10. Brock Winston 40
11. Lawson Bopping 39
12. Brad Groombridge 35
13. Joel Milesevic 33
14. Kade Mosig 32
15. Lewis Woods 31
16. James Booth Elliott 30
17. Darcy Jones 27
18. Riley Graham 27
19. Dean Porter 27
20. Jay Marmont 24

MX1 championship standings:
1. Matt Moss 713
2. Kirk Gibbs 676
3. Billy Mackenzie 632
4. Adam Monea 615
5. Jake Moss 528
6. Jacob Wright 525
7. Kade Mosig 500
8. Hayden Mellross 472
9. Sam Martin 436
10. Brock Winston 415
11. Jesse Dobson 412
12. Lewis Woods 391
13. Jay Marmont 362
14. Rhys Carter 351
15. James Booth Elliott 209
16. Jesse O’Farrell 159
17. Joel Milesevic 153
18. Ben Townley, Ben 139
19. Brad Groombridge 131
20. Darcy Jones 119

Click here for detailed results