Gibbs Takes Monster Energy MX Nationals Round Honours After Thrilling Battle With Moss At Conondale
MCNews.com.au Condondale Wrap
KTM Motocross Racings Kirk Gibbs has emerged victorious at the seventh round of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals after a day long battle with championship rival and points leader Matt Moss.
On what can only be described as a perfect day for racing, the large crowd on hand for the Conondale, Queensland round of the MX Nationals knew they were in for a great day of action as Gibbs and Moss topped regular qualifying, with Gibbs setting a faster time than Moss.
However it was Moss who then reversed the result in the Go Pro Superpole session, edging out Gibbs by a fraction of a second to earn a maximum five points towards his championship total.
When the gates dropped on moto one it was the retiring Jay Marmont from the CDR Yamaha squad who launched out to claim the holeshot and early race lead ahead of Motul Suzuki’s Matt Moss, while Gibbs was caught well down in the field after a bad start.
Marmont was able to hold off Moss for a handful of laps until the red plate holder made his way into the lead.
Marmont held strong in second place until the final moments of the race where a hard charging Gibbs made his way through to second place and also caught Moss enough to put a little pressure on him. Moss however held on for the race win from Gibbs and Marmont in a fine third place.
Billy Mackenzie made it two from two holeshots for the CDR Yamaha team in the second moto and quickly set about clearing out from the field.
Behind him another battle erupted between Moss and Gibbs, with Gibbs taking his time to make a pass on Moss for second place with just a couple of laps to run, then put in a huge run at Mackenzie with the South Australian crossing the line side by side with the Scotsman with Billy just holding on for the win.
The final MX1 race of the day again started as a battle between Moss, Mackenzie and Gibbs, with Moss taking his turn in leading the field through the first turn.
Behind him, Gibbs and Mackenzie spent the first two laps embroiled in a epic dog fight with Gibbs eventually getting the better of the situation and soon set his sights on Moss.
Within a few laps Gibbs had worked his way onto the back of Moss before making a precise move for the lead and was never headed taking the moto win along with the overall round victory and in the process closed the championship lead in by another point and now sits just 18 points behind Moss with three rounds of racing remaining.
“I’m stoked with that win,” Gibbs stated. “I had a really good day, I did not get the greatest start in the first race, but was able to do a bit of damage control and get to second.
“The second moto I had a good battle with Moss and Billy, that was good and I finished second in that one.
“I just waited for my time in that last one, I felt I had some better lines than Matt, so I just waited then picked him off. Once I had a clear track I felt that I would be able to break away from him pretty quick and I could get a nice cushion and that is what I did.”
Moss was happy with his day’s effort and felt more comfortable this weekend than he had in the past few rounds.
“Today was not too bad,” Moss commented at day’s end. “We are a lot better off than we have been the past three to four rounds.
“I am feeling better; we have made some bike changes. We did sort of go the wrong way though in that last moto today, we thought we were going the right way, but we ended up going the wrong way. I was just bouncing around a little bit.
For Mackenzie it was a bitter sweet day, after showing plenty of speed in the opening two races, he was relegated back to 5th place in the final moto as both DPH Motorsports Kade Mosig and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Monea both made their was by the number 211 Yamaha during the race.
The result was still enough to leave Mackenzie on the final step of the podium for the round, though he was looking for more.
“I am not feeling too great after that last race, we were going for the overall win and I was feeling confident going into it,” Mackenzie explained. “The first few laps were real fast and intense and they just kept edging away.
“I put in a max effort, but I was not getting very much traction and in hindsight we should have put a harder rear tyre on. I just had a really bad race!
In the MX2 class the day belonged to KTM privateer Caleb Ward who picked up his second round win of the year.
The North Queensland based rider showed he he does not need soft loamy conditions to take race and moto wins, clearing out from the field in the opening two moto’s to claim clear race wins.
A bad start in the final moto left him near last heading out of the first turn, but a hard charge through the field was enough to see him end the moto in 10th place and with a mixed day of results for nearly every rider in the class, it was enough to take the overall honours for the round.
“It has been kind of bugging me a little bit that everyone has been saying that I can only ride the soft stuff fast so I thought I had to come out and prove myself a bit more, so that was good.” Ward stated.
“I am looking forward to the final three rounds, especially Coolum, I seem to do pretty well at that track so it should be sweet.
Finishing the day on the second step of the podium was none other than 2011 Under 19s champion Errol Willis.
Willis riding a Yamaha YZ250 two stroke as a fully fledged privateer was a picture of consistency all day, qualifying 6th then posting 6,4,2 results across the three moto format to claim the second spot on the podium.
“It was good to come to a track that I really like and we never know this might be the last time we ever get to ride at this venue and I have really enjoyed coming here and especially to have a good day come out of it.” Willis stated.
“We had a good day all day, we qualified 6th, then got a 6th a 4th and a 2nd, we progressively got better all day and I feel as though we had a really good bike a really good team structure that we have going here and we were lucky enough to walk away from today with a podium.”
Rounding out the podium was Serco Yamaha’s Luke Clout. Despite it being another tough outing for the championship leader he once again increased his championship lead from nearest rival Hamish Harwood.
Clout was forced off track early in the opening moto and rejoined after missing the second turn and was subsequently penalised 10 seconds, meaning his was pushed back from 2nd to 4th position at the conclusion of the opening moto.
A un-characteristically 8th place in the second moto was followed by a second place finish in the final moto, with the New South Welshman again finding his way onto the podium on a day where it looked as though it would not happen.
“I am starting to get over saying the same thing the past few rounds, a bad round but still on the podium and extending my points lead,” Clout admitted.
“The first race I rode really well, but obviously I got penalised. I put my head down and still come away with a 4th after the penalty.
“The second race with wet flat turns with nothing to bank off, I can’t really ride that type of stuff as you can see with my 8th place.
“In the last race I picked it up and it was alright and I got a 4th in that one, so to come out of the day with a podium and extend my lead it is pretty good.
It was a tough day for Husqvarna’s two MX2 championship contenders with both Luke Arbon and Kayne Lamont both suffering wheel failures after coming up slightly short on the big extension jump. Arbon was able to rebound in the final race of the day taking a wire to wire moto win.
In the MXD class the day belonged to GYTR Yamaha’s Jed Beaton after an impressive 2-2-1 result for the round gave the Victorian not only the overall round win, but also the championship lead.
Beaton won the round ahead of Tune Tech backed KTM rider Jack Simpson and fellow GYTR Yamaha team-mate Wilson Todd.
Points leader coming into the round Egan Mastin finished the day in 5th place and in the process dropped to 3rd in the standings behind Beaton and Simpson.
Round eight of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals heads to Raymond Tce on the 3rd of August.
1) Matt Moss 2:38.944 (5 points)
2) Kirk Gibbs 2:38.998 (4 points)
3) Billy Mackenzie 2:39.277 (3 points)
4) Adam Monea 2:39.374 (2 points)
5) Jake Moss 2:40.926 (1 point)
MX1 Round Results:
1) Kirk Gibbs 99 (32, 32, 35)
2) Matt Moss 97 (35, 30, 32)
3) Billy Mackenzie 89 (28, 35, 26)
4) Adam Monea 77 (21, 28, 28)
5) Brock Winston 72 (24, 23, 25)
6) Ben Townley 71 (26, 25, 20)
7) Rhys Carter 69 (22, 23, 24)
8) Jesse Dobson 64 (25, 17, 22)
9) Hayden Mellross 63 (19, 21, 23)
10) Jacob Wright 60 (20, 19, 21)
MX1 Overall Championship Standings:
1) Matt Moss 550
2) Kirk Gibbs 532
3) Billy Mackenzie 482
4) Adam Monea 475
5) Jake Moss 420
6) Kade Mosig 386
7) Jacob Wright 364
8) Hayden Mellross 357
9) Rhys Carter 351
10) Brick Winston 345
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