Defending MX1 champion Kirk Gibbs has taken a slim one point lead in the 450 class.
By Hayden Gregory
The KTM rider has shown no ill effects of a broken pelvis during the first four rounds of the 2016 season. Gibbs has been one of the most consistent and in form riders of the series and was rewarded last round win the championship lead.
The South Australian qualified fastest for moto one before recording a fourth place finish in a frantic opening race. He then backed that up with a win in the second marking his first race win of the season. A 4-1 result landed him second for the round behind Suzuki’s Todd Waters. It did however allow him to move into the overall championship lead passing Dean Ferris by just a single point.
“It was a bit four-seasons-in-one-day in South Australia, but it was good to be back and see everyone,” Gibbs commented. “I’m happy as much about getting a race win as anything. It was pretty tight racing, in race one I got up into second, but a few little wrong line choices cost me, and I slipped back to fourth, which was pretty frustrating because I feel that with room to breathe I could have done a lot better.
“In the second I just plugged away, passing Ferris and passing Brett for the win. It was good close racing for the fans all day but every time you get close enough to make a pass you get a mouthful of roost or dirty goggles, and without many jumps on the track it was hard to find a place to rip a tear-off. The red plate is good, but a point in front is very tight – I’ve just got to keep plugging away.”
KTM Motocross Team Manager Kyle Blunden was full of praise for Gibbs and his recent results.
“In MX1 it’s been very tight, the racing has been brilliant so far and it picked up right where it left off,” Blunden said. “Kirk had some great speed early on, but had some problems with lappers and slipped from second back to fourth. In the second he got another really good start, and was third about the halfway mark and was able to make a pass on Ferris into second, then pushed hard to take the win from Metcalfe. He came away with that moto and the red plate.
MX1 Championship Points after round 4:
1. Kirk Gibbs 252, 2. Dean Ferris 251, 3. Todd Waters 247, 4. Matt Moss 228, 5. Brett Metcalfe 225, 6. Kade Mosig 187, 7. Dylan Long 185, 8. Daniel Reardon 171, 9. Jay Wilson 152, 10. Jacob Wright 151