KTM Australia press release:
The KTM Motocross Racing Team experienced multiple podiums at Wonthaggi’s third and fourth rounds of the 2018 MX Nationals in Victoria this weekend in what was a taxing event contested in trying conditions.
Saturday’s round saw Luke Clout step up and clinch third overall in MX1, tied on points with second after recording a 3-4 scorecard. It was an impressive day from the New South Welshman in what were demanding motos.
Former champion Kirk Gibbs looked set for a promising weekend, claiming Super Pole with the fastest time in qualifying before scoring second in race one. Moto two saw the number five shoot out to the lead, however an unforeseen error in the roller section resulted in a heavy fall for Gibbs, who displayed his true character in never giving up, visiting the mechanics area for repairs before salvaging 26th for 11th overall.
Sunday proved to be a more difficult day for Gibbs and Clout in the premier class however, as the pair mustered up fourth and sixth overall placings respectively, which now positions them third and fourth in the championship standings on-board their KTM 450 SX-F race bikes.
Defending MX2 champion Egan Mastin showed signs of progress during round three, earning fifth overall with 6-5 results. His best was yet to come, as Sunday’s instalment saw the youthful talent return to his usual form on board his KTM 250 SX-F to collect second overall with 4-2 moto scores, repositioning himself in championship contention as a result.
The KTM Motocross Racing Team’s next appearance is scheduled for Sunday, 27 May at Murray Bridge in South Australia, marking the fifth stop of the MX Nationals series.
Jay Marmont – Team Manager, KTM Motocross Racing Team: “It was great to see Luke on the podium yesterday, he deserved it and it was another impressive ride. Today was a little like yesterday in that the track was really tough and made it really demanding on the bikes and riders. Both 450 riders seemed to struggle a bit more today, as Gibbs had been thrown out of sorts with that crash from yesterday and just didn’t seem to recover, while fatigue set in for Clout. Egan really turned his day around and his championship to be honest – he went out in practice and was a very different rider – he was very free flowing on the bike. With all the DNFs from the others guys, second overall has put him back in the hunt for the championship.”
Luke Clout – KTM 450 SX-F: “I started the weekend off pretty good, getting third yesterday, second on count-back, which was really good. I started today off well, getting into Super Pole, but it was just one of those days as I struggled to find my flow and had a few crashes. I was pretty much fatigued and had nothing left in the tank today – I ran out of energy and was just trying to fight through and grab some points. I’m still carrying confidence though, I was riding really well and had some good speed. I’m looking to get back on the podium at Murray Bridge.”
Kirk Gibbs – KTM 450 SX-F: “Everything was going not too bad on Saturday. I got Super Pole and then had a frustrating race in the first one, but I was still second, so that’s all good. I got a good start in the second one and I was going all in to the make something happen, but I caught a little edge that flicked me into the rollers and I was obviously unable to save it. The worst thing is I did a lot of damage to the bike, but I still scored some points thanks to the team getting me going again. That wrote the rest of the weekend off for me, because today I struggled and just had little issues after that. I’ll come back swinging at Murray Bridge, I ride there pretty well so am looking forward to the quick turnaround now.”
Egan Mastin – KTM 250 SX-F: “It was a great weekend in the end and I am really happy. The first moto today, I got off to a decent start, but the track was very muddy out there – you had to make sure of what you were doing because it could come up and bite you and you would be on the ground. I got a solid fourth place in the first moto and just moved into the second moto with a half-decent start. I worked my way up to second place and just stayed there – I felt very solid today, the bike felt great and it was the best I’ve felt all year. To get second overall is definitely what I needed after a reasonable round on Saturday, so I’m going to keep the ball rolling onto the next event and can’t wait.”