Outdoor specialist cleared to ride following month-long layoff.
Team Australia’s Kirk Gibbs will commence his on-bike preparations today in the lead-up to the 2018 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN) at RedBud in America on 6-7 October.
Gibbs, 29, sustained an assortment of injuries in the opening moto of Ranch MX’s national double-header last month, but has remained adamant that he would be 100 percent for MXoN if selected for a second term.
Despite missing the final three rounds of the Australian Motocross Championship and plummeting to 11th in the final MX1 standings, outdoor specialist Gibbs’ prior form was enough to instil the confidence of Australian selectors and it’s expected he will form the team’s MXGP entry against the best riders on the planet this year. His motocross-only contract with KTM Australia lends itself to the MXoN, since this year’s running clashes with Coolum’s second round of supercross.
“It’s worked out well for me, actually, getting the clearance on the same day as the announcement,” Gibbs told MotoOnline.com.au, certain that he will be at peak form come the race weekend in Michigan. “I’ve been a little bit down, obviously not being able to finish motocross, so this gives me something to work towards again and it’s very positive. It’s a solid team and I can’t wait to get over there.
“I’ve still been training really hard off the bike and my fitness hasn’t really dropped at all, it’s just a matter of getting the bike time. We’re seven weeks away this weekend, so I will still get plenty of riding in and to make sure that my on-bike fitness is really good. I might even go a week or so early and try to ride over there before the race.”
Last year at Matterley Basin in his first MXoN appearance, Gibbs played a starring role for Team Australia when he rode to fifth in the MX2/Open moto and then claimed sixth overall in the Open division. It was that type of effort that has selectors confident in his ability to rise to the occasion internationally as Australia’s most senior team member and the opportunity to compete at RedBud is the biggest of his career.
“RedBud, even when you just watch on TV, is such a unique track and obviously the fans there are going to be going pretty crazy,” he continued. “After doing my first MXoN last year, it was pretty nerve-wracking for myself, but I’m really looking forward to it. Mentally, I think I will be in a much better place than I was last year, just knowing what to expect, so hopefully the next few weeks go really smoothly and I am confident I can put in another good performance.”