News 21 Sep 2015

Gibbs overcomes practice crash for promising MXGP debut

MX Nationals champion takes motivation from Glen Helen opportunity.

Image: Andy McGechan (KTM).

Image: Andy McGechan (KTM).

KTM Motocross Racing Team’s reigning Australian MX Nationals champion Kirk Gibbs put a major practice crash behind him to score points in his anticipated MXGP debut at Glen Helen on Sunday.

Gibbs was credited 20th overall despite crashing out of moto one with a shoulder injury, but managed to soldier on for a promising 16th-place finish in moto two.

It was an impressive first international performance for Gibbs against both MXGP and America’s elite, able to overcome obstacles to challenge inside the points.

“I definitely wasn’t 100 percent today,” Gibbs explained. “The crash on Wednesday put a dampener on things; it rattled my head pretty good and my body was a bit banged up coming in.

“We struggled a bit for bike set-up on Saturday as well, so we were behind the eight ball a little bit, but we didn’t do too bad all things considered.

“I felt like I was riding really well in the first moto and I was mixing it up with some good guys, but then I had a crash and hurt the shoulder that I injured late in the MX Nationals, so the second was a big struggle.”

Gibbs said the one-off appearance has motivated him in a bid to launch an international career, however he is signed to remain with KTM in Australia for 2016 at least.

“This event was a massive eye-opener for me and I can’t thank KTM enough in making it happen,” he added. “I felt like if we could have put two solid motos together we could have been around the top 10.

“It’d be great to come over and compete against the best riders more often and this really gives me a little bit more motivation to go home and take it to another level and be another step ahead of the competitors back home.”

After being overlooked for Team Australia’s Motocross of Nations (MXoN) squad, Gibbs will now return home in preparation for the Australian Supercross Championship that starts at Bathurst, NSW, on 10 October.