KTM Australia press release:
Gladstone’s ninth round of the 2018 MX Nationals proved to be a challenging one for a reduced KTM Motocross Racing Team, with New South Welshman Luke Clout solely spearheading the factory squad in Queensland.
Former national champion Kirk Gibbs suffered numerous injuries at Ranch MX’s double-header, subsequently ending his season prematurely, while reigning MX2 champion Egan Mastin failed to receive a doctor’s clearance for this penultimate stop after enduring a concussion at Raymond Terrace.
In a tough week personally for Clout, he charged through the day, setting the sixth-fastest lap-time in qualifying. The opening 30-minute plus one-lap affair saw him salvage eighth position as he recovered from a fall, while in the second outing he improved for sixth, granting him sixth overall.
It was an effort that will be vital for Clout’s chances to claim second in the championship aboard the KTM 450 SX-F, picking up important points in round nine of 10 this season.
With a round to spare next weekend at Coolum in Queensland, Clout holds onto third in the championship standings, just five points outside of second position entering the season finale on 11-12 August.
Jay Marmont – Team Manager, KTM Motocross Racing Team: “It was one of Clouty’s toughest rounds, but he definitely fought through. He had a crash in the first one, but he fired back up in race two for sixth. He’ll regroup this week and hopefully wrap up second in the championship come Coolum. Unfortunately we didn’t have Kirk or Egan this weekend – Kirk obviously injured himself at Ranch MX, while Egan didn’t receive a doctor’s clearance after suffering a head-knock at the same round.”
Luke Clout – KTM 450 SX-F: “Sixth overall isn’t where I want to be and it isn’t where the team wants me to be. It was one of those days – I’ve been experiencing some personal issues and it definitely took a toll on my mind today. I wasn’t really with it today, but I just tried to push through it and salvage some points. The bike was really good and we made some good changes recently, but I just didn’t gel with the track. I didn’t put myself in a good position to start off with and that kind of hindered my results. I’m looking forward to Coolum and I think we should have a good weekend.”