Reigning MX2 champion Mastin to now defend championship next season.
KTM Motocross Racing Team has confirmed its rider line-up for the 2018 season, expanding to three riders with former national champion Kirk Gibbs joined by the youthful combination of Luke Clout and reigning MX2 champion Egan Mastin.
The trio will form KTM Australia’s factory motocross roster for next season, with Gibbs and Clout to campaign the KTM 450 SX-F in the MX1 division of the MX Nationals, while Mastin will defend his title aboard a KTM 250 SX-F in the team’s official return to MX2.
Gibbs, 28, will enter his sixth-straight year with the KTM Motocross Racing Team after finishing runner-up in the 2017 standings, also performing strongly for sixth overall as part of Team Australia at the recent Motocross of Nations (MXoN) in Great Britain.
“It’s really good to re-sign with KTM and I’m happy with the line-up that we have for 2018,” Gibbs said. “I think it’s good to bring some younger, fresh blood into the team and it’s obviously very good for me to be back at the KTM Motocross Racing Team for a sixth season. It doesn’t feel stale for me at all, it all feels really fresh and I think that collectively we will improve further for next season. There’s a lot of loyalty between KTM and I, so I appreciate that – I’ve really enjoyed being part of the manufacturer for that long.”
Joining Gibbs will be 23-year-old talent Clout, who impressed as a rookie in MX1 this season and he feels that KTM will provide an ideal platform for him to further his career in the 450 ranks. The 2014 MX2 champion, who has immense international experience to his credit, is committed to a full motocross and supercross campaign in 2018.
“It was a goal of mine to get into the KTM Motocross Racing Team, the structure of the team and being close to my house really fits,” commented Clout. “To get this opportunity has been really, really good for me. I couldn’t be happier and more thankful to work with Jay [Marmont] and the entire team, everybody knows how strong the team is as a factory program – I think it will be another piece of the puzzle that will enable me to go out there and do good things on-track.
“I’ve ridden the KTM 450 SX-F once so far after some time off, I felt really good on it and I’m just excited to move forward from this point and keep working together. This year was solid as a rookie on the 450 and I learnt a lot, so going into my second year with a great team and the people I have behind me, I’m confident next year is definitely going to be a good one. I’m excited to go racing!”
At 19 years of age, Mastin was previously announced to be transferring into the MX1 ranks, however it has since been decided for the teenager to wear the number one plate in MX2 as he challenges for back-to-back motocross crowns. He’s also due to return for another season in SX2 later in the year.
“We decided that it would be good to stay another year in the 250 class to defend the title,” Mastin explained. “There’s no rush for me to go to the 450, so we thought it would be positive to develop further and get better all-round, in both motocross and supercross. I’m really looking forward to defending the MX2 championship as part of the factory team and also on the KTM 250 SX-F.”
All champions in their own right and under the guidance of KTM Motocross Racing Team manager Jay Marmont – himself a multiple-time motocross and supercross championship winner – who will enter his second term as a leading part of the factory organisation in Australia.