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.

Kirk Gibbs (KTM 450 SX-F) - “My first overall win, I'm really happy, so it's good, and a lot of family and friends were here to see it so I'm very pleased. Today was a bit up and down obviously, that first one was tough, I didn't get the best start, and I had to take my goggles off and copped a rock to the eye, so I've got a bit of a shiner! That last race I got a good start and just made passes really early which made it easy. I got the lead just before the end of the first lap and just rode away with it. I’ve had a podium at every round now so I'm really happy with that, that's the biggest thing I’ve always wanted is to be really, really consistent. I've been doing that so far, so I'm really pleased with where I am at.”
Kirk Gibbs (KTM 450 SX-F) – “My first overall win, I’m really happy, so it’s good, and a lot of family and friends were here to see it so I’m very pleased. Today was a bit up and down obviously, that first one was tough, I didn’t get the best start, and I had to take my goggles off and copped a rock to the eye, so I’ve got a bit of a shiner! That last race I got a good start and just made passes really early which made it easy. I got the lead just before the end of the first lap and just rode away with it. I’ve had a podium at every round now so I’m really happy with that, that’s the biggest thing I’ve always wanted is to be really, really consistent. I’ve been doing that so far, so I’m really pleased with where I am at.”
Luke Arbon (TC 250 – MX2: 2nd, 1st) “I'm pumped! I put in a lot of work to achieve this goal, and I can’t to explain the feeling - the last three laps in that moto I had butterflies. It was crazy, I didn't really expect to get the win this soon in the series. I haven't really done too much riding, but in the last few weeks, Gibbsy has been down at my place so we’ve been doing a lot of riding together, and I think that helped my confidence, I felt strong and relaxed all day. I’m definitely pumped to get my first win at home and Gibbsy he got his first win as well in the Open so it couldn't be more special really!”
Luke Arbon (TC 250 – MX2: 2nd, 1st) “I’m pumped! I put in a lot of work to achieve this goal, and I can’t to explain the feeling – the last three laps in that moto I had butterflies. It was crazy, I didn’t really expect to get the win this soon in the series. I haven’t really done too much riding, but in the last few weeks, Gibbsy has been down at my place so we’ve been doing a lot of riding together, and I think that helped my confidence, I felt strong and relaxed all day. I’m definitely pumped to get my first win at home and Gibbsy he got his first win as well in the Open so it couldn’t be more special really!”
Nathan Crawford: (TC 250 – MXD: 1st, 1st) “It's good, it's heaps good! Obviously it's my first overall as a senior and, while I expected it, it's good that the hard work pays off, and it was a great feeling to be standing up there on the podium. I sort of struggled to find my rhythm in the first laps, and battled with Egan Mastin in the last half of the Moto and forced the issue a little bit to get the win. In the second I pulled the holeshot and led from start to finish. I was riding well just gelling with the bike. I put in a good solid 10 min and then just settled into my pace, and won the second Moto and came away with the overall. The Under 19's don't go to Wanneroo so I'm going to go there and race in the Pro Lites, so we'll see how I go.”
Nathan Crawford: (TC 250 – MXD: 1st, 1st) “It’s good, it’s heaps good! Obviously it’s my first overall as a senior and, while I expected it, it’s good that the hard work pays off, and it was a great feeling to be standing up there on the podium. I sort of struggled to find my rhythm in the first laps, and battled with Egan Mastin in the last half of the Moto and forced the issue a little bit to get the win. In the second I pulled the holeshot and led from start to finish. I was riding well just gelling with the bike. I put in a good solid 10 min and then just settled into my pace, and won the second Moto and came away with the overall. The Under 19’s don’t go to Wanneroo so I’m going to go there and race in the Pro Lites, so we’ll see how I go.”
MX1 Podium
MX1 Podium
MX2 Podium
MX2 Podium
MXD Podium
MXD Podium
Jake Moss say's, "The result in the first moto was not what I really wanted. I got a good jump and felt I was going to go into the turn first but I got tangled with Billy and that put me back. I felt like I could have won that moto but I had a couple of little issues and it wasn't to be. In the second moto Gibbsy (Kirk Gibbs) passed me on the first lap. He had a hometown advantage. He just knew where to go when it was rough. I thought to go smooth lines but it didn't work out. It proved faster to go the rough shorter lines. I'm looking forward to racing in the sand at Wanneroo. I think the Kawasaki suits the sand and It would be nice to go out with a win before the break. "
Jake Moss say’s, “The result in the first moto was not what I really wanted. I got a good jump and felt I was going to go into the turn first but I got tangled with Billy and that put me back. I felt like I could have won that moto but I had a couple of little issues and it wasn’t to be. In the second moto Gibbsy (Kirk Gibbs) passed me on the first lap. He had a hometown advantage. He just knew where to go when it was rough. I thought to go smooth lines but it didn’t work out. It proved faster to go the rough shorter lines. I’m looking forward to racing in the sand at Wanneroo. I think the Kawasaki suits the sand and It would be nice to go out with a win before the break. “

 

Mackenzie holds down fifth place in the championship after four rounds.  “At every other round I have had good and not so good motos, so it was important that I put together two good motos today and not make any mistakes. I can’t afford to keep doing that and losing points to the leaders in the championship so I needed to get my act together and get it done.  “I went well last year here so I felt good coming in and the CDR Yamaha team have the bike working really well. I’m looking forward to racing in the sand in WA at the next round and with it being the three race format next week, the importance of consistency is again critical,” Mackenzie ends.
Mackenzie holds down fifth place in the championship after four rounds.
“At every other round I have had good and not so good motos, so it was important that I put together two good motos today and not make any mistakes. I can’t afford to keep doing that and losing points to the leaders in the championship so I needed to get my act together and get it done.
“I went well last year here so I felt good coming in and the CDR Yamaha team have the bike working really well. I’m looking forward to racing in the sand in WA at the next round and with it being the three race format next week, the importance of consistency is again critical,” Mackenzie ends.
Jay Marmont battled hard for a pair of 11th place finishes on his way to 11th overall. Marmont is still to find top form so far in 2014 but continues to work hard during the week to find the missing magic.  “I’m really happy with the bike and love racing it, I just need to pick up my game,” Marmont states. “We have the WA round next week in the sand and I have done well there previously, so I hope I can turn my season around there.”  “It was a better weekend for Billy,” states CDR Yamaha owner Craig Dack. “Each week we discuss the limiting of mistakes and with his age and experience he shouldn’t let those mistakes creep into his riding, so it was good to see him put that into practice this weekend.
Jay Marmont battled hard for a pair of 11th place finishes on his way to 11th overall. Marmont is still to find top form so far in 2014 but continues to work hard during the week to find the missing magic.
“I’m really happy with the bike and love racing it, I just need to pick up my game,” Marmont states. “We have the WA round next week in the sand and I have done well there previously, so I hope I can turn my season around there.”
“It was a better weekend for Billy,” states CDR Yamaha owner Craig Dack. “Each week we discuss the limiting of mistakes and with his age and experience he shouldn’t let those mistakes creep into his riding, so it was good to see him put that into practice this weekend.
Brenden Harrison (KTM 250 SX) – “My day was about horrible starts, I had to come back through the pack in both races, but just with my fitness; I feel like I'm the fittest on the track at the moment, and in the second moto I came from something like 17th on the first lap to third, so I just want the motos to be 10 minutes longer! I need to get my starts sorted. I really want to win this Championship so I've got to start making it happen."
Brenden Harrison (KTM 250 SX) – “My day was about horrible starts, I had to come back through the pack in both races, but just with my fitness; I feel like I’m the fittest on the track at the moment, and in the second moto I came from something like 17th on the first lap to third, so I just want the motos to be 10 minutes longer! I need to get my starts sorted. I really want to win this Championship so I’ve got to start making it happen.”
“It was a better weekend for Billy,” states CDR Yamaha owner Craig Dack. “Each week we discuss the limiting of mistakes and with his age and experience he shouldn’t let those mistakes creep into his riding, so it was good to see him put that into practice this weekend.   “Jay is still working hard and I think the WA round will suit him this weekend. He is fit and three races in the sand will be tough but I think Jay has what it takes for that environment,” Dack concludes.
“It was a better weekend for Billy,” states CDR Yamaha owner Craig Dack. “Each week we discuss the limiting of mistakes and with his age and experience he shouldn’t let those mistakes creep into his riding, so it was good to see him put that into practice this weekend.
“Jay is still working hard and I think the WA round will suit him this weekend. He is fit and three races in the sand will be tough but I think Jay has what it takes for that environment,” Dack concludes.

 

MX1 Round Results

  1. Kirk Gibbs – 63 Pts
  2. Billy Mackenzie – 60 Pts
  3. Jake Moss – 57 Pts
  4. Adam Monea – 54 Pts
  5. Matt Moss – 51 Pts
  6. Kade Mosig – 47 Pts
  7. Hayden Mellross – 47 Pts
  8. Rhys Carter – 46 Pts
  9. Jacob Wright – 43 Pts
  10. Sam Martin – 42 Pts

MX1 Championship Standings After Round 4 of 10:

  1. Matt Moss – 294 Pts
  2. Kirk Gibbs – 281 Pts
  3. Adam Monea – 259 Pts
  4. Jake Moss – 247 Pts
  5. Billy Mackenzie – 242 Pts
  6. Kade Mosig – 216 Pts
  7. Rhys Carter – 214 Pts
  8. Hayden Mellross – 206 Pts
  9. Jay Marmont – 196 Pts
  10. Jacob Wright – 185 Pts

MX2 Round Results

  1. 1. Luke Arbon – 67 Pts
  2. 2. Brenden Harrison – 55 Pts
  3. 3. Kayne Lamont – 55 Pts
  4. 4. Luke Clout – 54 Pts
  5. 5. Kale Makeham – 54 Pts
  6. 6. Caleb Ward – 51 Pts
  7. 7. Hamish Harwood – 50 Pts
  8. 8. Errol Willis – 49 Pts
  9. 9. Jay Wilson – 44 Pts
  10. 10. Ryan Marmont – 41 Pts

Championship Standings After Round 4 of 10:

  1. 1. Luke Clout – 261 Pts
  2. 2. Kayne Lamont – 249 Pts
  3. 3. Hamish Harwood – 242 Pts
  4. 4. Brenden Harrison – 235 Pts
  5. 5. Kale Makeham – 221 Pts
  6. 6. Luke Arbon – 204 Pts
  7. 7. Jay Wilson – 193 Pts
  8. 8. Errol Willis – 189 Pts
  9. 9. Ryan Marmont – 176 Pts
  10. 10. Caleb Ward – 172 Pts

MXD Round Results

  1. 1. Nathan Crawford – 70 Pts
  2. 2. Kyle Webster – 60 Pts
  3. 3. Egan Mastin – 58 Pts
  4. 4. Jed Beaton – 54 Pts
  5. 5. Jack Simpson – 53 Pts
  6. 6. Dylan Wilson – 52 Pts
  7. 7. Aaron Tanti – 50 Pts
  8. 8. Jayden Rykers – 46 Pts
  9. 9. Wilson Todd – 39 Pts
  10. 10. Daniel Price – 38 Pts

MXD Championship Standings After Round 4 of 8:

  1. 1. Egan Mastin – 273 Pts
  2. 2. Jack Simpson – 272 Pts
  3. 3. Jed Beaton – 270 Pts
  4. 4. Nathan Crawford – 265 Pts
  5. 5. Wilson Todd – 209 Pts
  6. 6. Kyle Webster – 206 Pts
  7. 7. Jayden Rykers – 199 Pts
  8. 8. Aaron Tanti – 177 Pts
  9. 9. Brock McLeary – 176 Pts
  10. 10. Daniel Price – 155 Pts