Kirk Gibbs and Luke Arbon Delight Home State Crowd With Victory At The Bridge
South Australian riders Kirk Gibbs and Luke Arbon delighted their home state fans by winning their respective classes at the fourth round of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals held at Murray Bridge in SA on Sunday the 18th of May.
KTM Motocross Racing’s Gibbs kicked off his day with a solid showing in qualifying, finishing fifth fastest before improving one spot to fourth in superpole.
The Mount Gambier native had a tough opening race. Using all his tear-offs early in the race he threw his goggles in a bid for clear vision.
However the idea back fired when he was hit directly in the eye with a rock, leaving him with an instantly swollen eye.
Gibbs not only toughed it out, he was able to still catch and pass championship leader Matt Moss on the final corner of the race to sneak home in fourth position.
Things were much simpler in race two as Gibbs raced to the lead early and never looked back, taking the moto win and in doing so his maiden overall MX1 round win.
“It feels great to get my first overall win ever in the open class,” Gibbs beamed from the podium. “To get my first overall has been awesome.
“I was a little disappointed with that first race, I struggled with the goggles and copped a rock to the eye.
“I turned it around that second moto, made some passes early and just rode my own race.
“I knew that I had the speed, I just have to do this more often.”
Finishing in second position for the round was CDR Yamaha’s Billy Mackenzie on the back of his 3-3 race result.
A a solid opening moto saw the Scotsman battling with Gibbs for the majority of the race in fourth position before passing Matt Moss for third in the dying stages.
Moto two was similar for Mackenzie who worked his way into third position early, but like many riders on the day, ripped through his tear-Offs by mid moto.
With no goggles on, Mackenzie held off a fast finishing Jacob Wright to claim another third place moto result and second overall for the day.
“Today, I don’t know, I didn’t feel like I got in my groove all day, I was fighting the bike,” Mackenzie explained. “But it was good enough to get second place overall at the end of the day.
“My endurance was not quite there today, due to putting more effort in riding the bike. I can’t complain the whole team worked really well and I have to thank them all.
“I am pretty confident in my sand ability heading into Wanneroo, I have been doing a lot of sand riding back home.” Mackenzie added.
Rounding out the podium was NPS / Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Moss.
Jake was strong early in the opening moto before dropping a handful of places late in the race to leave him in 6th position. In the second moto he fired he KX450F into second place early, tracking Gibbs before finally settling for second place.
His 6-2 result was enough to secure the final step of the podium.
“I was lucky to get an overall podium with a two-six result, it was good to earn a little money,” Jake Moss said with a smile on the podium.
“I have to give it up to the whole NPS / Monster Energy Kawasaki team and all the mechanics, I am probably the hardest person on the world on gear, so thanks boys for doing those long hours.
“Third on the podium is not where I want to be, I feel like I am a lot better than this, I have to somehow shake this third and second place and try to get a win.”
NPS / Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Monea finished the day fourth overall after a dominating opening moto win.
Unfortunately for the Victorian a crash early in the second moto left him at the back of the field. A hard moto long charge had him on the verge of the top ten heading into the final lap.
He eventually crossed the line in 12th position gaining valuable championship points.
Championship leader coming into the round, Motul Suzuki’s Matt Moss opened the day with a perfect lap in superpole to pick up five championship points.
The rest of his day would not pan out so well with a mechanical issue in the first moto, followed by losing his front brake in the first turn of moto two, leaving him to finish the day in fifth position and in the process had his lead cut nearly in half by Gibbs.
In the MX2 class is was another South Aussie who had the home town crowd on their feet all afternoon with SD3 Husqvarna’s Luke Arbon going 2-1 for his first ever overall round win in the class.
Arbon was in fine form in from the start of both motos, working his way into second place early in the first race where he stayed until the chequered flag
In the second moto he once again fired out of the gate working his way to second position early. He then stalked and passed early race leader, Queensland privateer, Caleb Ward.
Arbon then opened up a comfortable gap, riding on to an emotional moto victory ahead of 16 year old Ward who more than impressed with his moto result.
“I is great to get this win, it has been three years since I have stood up here, “Arbon said from the top step of the podium at Murray Bridge. “I am pumped to be up here.
“I had a great day and I can’t thank everyone enough from SD3 Husqvarna, Ivan, Steve his whole family for supporting me, my family, all my mates just everyone who helps get me out here.
“The team sponsors, Bike Tune, Chads Off-road, Gourmet meats, thanks a lot.”
Finishing on the second step of the podium was KTM backed privateer Brenden Harrison who was a little surprised to be on the box with his, 6-3 result.
“Today I just got terrible starts, I have to get myself out of the start and I know that I could win,” Harrison stated at days end. “Wins are what I want and if I want to win this championship I have to start doing it.
“I have been carrying a few injuries over the opening rounds to be honest, I need to use the upcoming break after Wanneroo to recover.”
Another rider who was surprised to be on the podium, was New Zealand’s Kayne Lamont despite winning the opening MX2 moto.
After claiming the holeshot and race win in the opening moto, Lamont found himself at the opposite end of the field in race two after getting caught up in a big first turn pile up.
Coming from dead last, the Kiwi worked his way through the field to 11th position, which was enough to leave him tied on 55 points with Harrison for the round and rewarded with third position on count back.
“My first race was good, I got out with a big holeshot and managed to pull a big lead,” Lamont explained. “I made a mistake and Luke managed to catch up, but I held on for the win which was good.
“The second race I missed third gear going down the start straight. I came into the corner mid pack and hit a few guys before ending on the ground.
“It was quite a tough race to come back from where I was, but I managed to get on the box which I was pretty surprised about.”
Championship leader heading into the round Serco Yamaha’s Luke Clout finished a further point behind Lamont in fourth overall on the back of his 4-5 moto results.
Rounding out the top five was Tune-Tech KTM’s Kale Makeham who also missed the podium by a single point finishing the day tied on 54 points with Clout.
Clout heads into round five of the championship with a 12 point championship lead.
In the MXD class the round was dominated by Husqvarna Mounted Nathan Crawford.
The Queenslander kept the crowd on their feet in the opening race, closing down race leader and fellow Husqvarna rider Egan Mastin on the final lap before making a final corner pass to claim the race win.
Moto two was a more straight forward affair with Crawford getting to the lead early and racing away for a clear victory.
“I was expecting the track to be a little more sandier today,” Crawford comment after his prefect day out, “My Pirelli tires were hooking up sick out there today and I came through with a 1-1 result so I am happy.
“Jake Moss has been helping me out heaps during the week, with a bit of riding and helping me out with things that I need to work on, so a big thanks to him for that as he does not need to take his time out to help me.”
Western Australian privateer Kyle Webster put his Culley’s motorcycles Yamaha YZ250F on the second step of the podium on the back of two very impressive moto results.
His 2-3 race finishes were the prefect lead into his first national MX2 race next weekend where he will step up to the Pro class at Wanneroo with the MXD class not in action.
Mastin rounded out the day on the final step of the podium after working his way through he field. His third place overall for the round was enough to see him move into the championship lead by a single point over KTM’s Jack Simpson who finished 5th for the round after a first turn crash in moto 1.
GYTR Yamaha’s Jed Beaton who nearly missed the round after some complications while having his appendix removed after the Wonthaggi finished the round in 5th and sits just 3 points from the championship lead.
Crawford also gave his championship hopes a boost with his 1-1 result and only sits a further five points behind Beaton in fourth.
MX1 Round Results
- Kirk Gibbs – 63 Pts
- Billy Mackenzie – 60 Pts
- Jake Moss – 57 Pts
- Adam Monea – 54 Pts
- Matt Moss – 51 Pts
- Kade Mosig – 47 Pts
- Hayden Mellross – 47 Pts
- Rhys Carter – 46 Pts
- Jacob Wright – 43 Pts
- Sam Martin – 42 Pts
MX1 Championship Standings After Round 4 of 10:
- Matt Moss – 294 Pts
- Kirk Gibbs – 281 Pts
- Adam Monea – 259 Pts
- Jake Moss – 247 Pts
- Billy Mackenzie – 242 Pts
- Kade Mosig – 216 Pts
- Rhys Carter – 214 Pts
- Hayden Mellross – 206 Pts
- Jay Marmont – 196 Pts
- Jacob Wright – 185 Pts
MX2 Round Results
- 1. Luke Arbon – 67 Pts
- 2. Brenden Harrison – 55 Pts
- 3. Kayne Lamont – 55 Pts
- 4. Luke Clout – 54 Pts
- 5. Kale Makeham – 54 Pts
- 6. Caleb Ward – 51 Pts
- 7. Hamish Harwood – 50 Pts
- 8. Errol Willis – 49 Pts
- 9. Jay Wilson – 44 Pts
- 10. Ryan Marmont – 41 Pts
Championship Standings After Round 4 of 10:
- 1. Luke Clout – 261 Pts
- 2. Kayne Lamont – 249 Pts
- 3. Hamish Harwood – 242 Pts
- 4. Brenden Harrison – 235 Pts
- 5. Kale Makeham – 221 Pts
- 6. Luke Arbon – 204 Pts
- 7. Jay Wilson – 193 Pts
- 8. Errol Willis – 189 Pts
- 9. Ryan Marmont – 176 Pts
- 10. Caleb Ward – 172 Pts
MXD Round Results
- 1. Nathan Crawford – 70 Pts
- 2. Kyle Webster – 60 Pts
- 3. Egan Mastin – 58 Pts
- 4. Jed Beaton – 54 Pts
- 5. Jack Simpson – 53 Pts
- 6. Dylan Wilson – 52 Pts
- 7. Aaron Tanti – 50 Pts
- 8. Jayden Rykers – 46 Pts
- 9. Wilson Todd – 39 Pts
- 10. Daniel Price – 38 Pts
MXD Championship Standings After Round 4 of 8:
- 1. Egan Mastin – 273 Pts
- 2. Jack Simpson – 272 Pts
- 3. Jed Beaton – 270 Pts
- 4. Nathan Crawford – 265 Pts
- 5. Wilson Todd – 209 Pts
- 6. Kyle Webster – 206 Pts
- 7. Jayden Rykers – 199 Pts
- 8. Aaron Tanti – 177 Pts
- 9. Brock McLeary – 176 Pts
- 10. Daniel Price – 155 Pts