News 17 Jul 2017

KTM’s Gibbs breaks Ferris' winning streak

KTM Australia press release:

KTM Factory Motocross Racing Team rider Kirk Gibbs today achieved the goal he’s been increasingly focussed on in recent months – becoming the rider to break the winning streak of Dean Ferris in this year’s MX Nationals.

Gibbs became only the second overall winner of the year when he won today’s seventh round at Shepparton, comfortably beating Dean Ferris and Brett Metcalfe on his KTM 450 SX-F.

The Queensland-based South Australian earlier qualified fastest on the day, then battled with his trademark tenacity in the opening moto to win his second race win in three rounds.

In the second moto, he worked his way through the dogfight in front of him to move from fifth to second place, setting the fastest lap of the race in the progress.

His 1-2 on the day further strengthens his second position in the championship.

Luke Styke piloted the KTM factory team’s second KTM 450 SX-F to ninth on the day, gaining five places to be eighth in the first moto, before carding seventh in the second.

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Jay Marmont – KTM Motocross Racing Team Manager: “It was a good day. Kirk was looking really good in practice and we knew we were on. Unfortunately, Dean just pipped him in SuperPole, but he took that in his stride. Then in that first moto, him, Dean and Mosig were battling. Ferris lost the front end and Gibbs saw an opening and pushed off the front. From there he didn’t look back and he won fairly comfortably. We knew the overall was looking good for us, and then that last moto was just a ding-dong battle between all the guys. Gibbs, in fine form, worked his way through it, got up to second place, and was able to take the overall. So, for the team and everyone that was involved here, that was really good, and it was a monkey off Kirk’s back! In the past, Dean’s had that counterpunch every time Gibbsy’s stepped up, but this time, we put him away. It was an up and down result for Luke, he didn’t have the best qualifying result, first moto he started poorly lost touch with the lead pack, then in the second we made a couple of suspension and tyre changes to the bike, and he seemed more comfortable. He was able to latch onto that lead pack a little more but he just lost that tiny bit of intensity. We’ll probably go back and switch his program up a little bit, make a couple of changes in the weeks off, and hopefully we can come out swinging and finish the year off strong.”

Kirk Gibbs – KTM450SX-F: “It’s really exciting and a great relief. We knew if we just worked hard, and followed our plan, we could put it all together, and today was the day. Both motos were really fast and I battled in both, it was pretty tough. In that second moto, I lost a few spots and just had to work real hard to get back to second. I’m really happy with my riding and how it went today, for myself and the team. Shepparton was a little bit different to the last few years; the ruts got really rough and bumpy and it was hard to find good lines out there, but it made for good close racing.”

Luke Styke – KTM450SX-F: “I’m not getting the results that I want yet, I just need to pick up the intensity early on in the race and work on putting myself in a better position at the beginning. It’s frustrating, it feels like I’ve been getting the same result all year. But I know it’s only going to take one race to turn it all around. It’s still a building process – from where we were last year on the couch we’ve come a long way, but I want it to speed up. I’ve just got to keep working on things, keep trying, be patient and enjoy the process.”