KTM Motocross Race Team’s Kirk Gibbs has taken outright honours in the Monster MX1 class at the seventh round of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals at Conondale, Queensland.

Gibbs was the standout rider on the day finishing second in the opening two motos before winning the final race, to finish two points ahead of Team Motul Suzuki’s Matt Moss.

With Moss claiming the Go Pro Superpole by posting the fastest qualifying lap, Gibbs could only make up one point in the overall championship standings from defending champion Moss.

CDR Yamaha’s Billy Mackenzie finished the round in third place, which included a hard fought win in the second moto of the day.

In the opening moto, Moss edged out CDR Yamaha’s Jay Marmont to take the hoelshot, before veteran Marmont shot to the front and put some serious distance between himself, Matt Moss, Jake Moss (National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki) and Kade Mosig (DPH Motorsport).

Privateer Jesse Dobson clawed his way into the top four by the end of the opening lap, but it was the Moss brothers who had everyone talking soon after on lap two of the race.

A coming together of yellow and green saw Matt and Jake clash, sending Jake flipping off his bike and ending up at the local hospital – unable to take part in any further racing for the day.

Despite slipping back to fourth place, Matt Moss claimed the lead on the fourth lap – a lead that he did not relinquish for the remainder of the race as he claimed maximum points.

Gibbs, who was in seventh after a less than ideal start, clawed his way back and passed Marmont into second on the penultimate lap, and the pair finished in second and third respectively.

Mackenzie, finished the race in fourth while Kiwi Ben Townley (Penrite Honda Racing) finished in fifth.

In the second race, Matt Moss took the holeshot from Marmont, Mackenzie, Gibbs, Adam Monea (National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki) and Townley.

Mackenzie didn’t take long to stamp his authority on the race – shooting into the lead in the first half of the opening lap, and controlling the moto going on to record an emphatic race victory.

Mackenzie, Moss and Gibbs were all within striking distance of each other throughout the race, and it was on the final lap when Gibbs made his move.

The KTM pilot moved past the red-plate holder into second and made a real charge for Mackenzie – and as the pair approached the last jump they were neck and neck.

It was tough to call watching from the line, but the timing doesn’t lie – with Mackenzie holding on for the race win by one tenth of a second, Gibbs finishing second and Moss back in third.

Monea finished the race in fourth with Mosig coming home in fifth.

For the final moto, Marmont joined Jake Moss and crowd favourite Lawson Bopping (Sic Racing) on the sidelines in a whittled down field .

While injuries took their toll on some, it was the usual crew out front, with Matt Moss taking the holeshot from Gibbs, Mackenzie, Mosig and Monea.

Mosig soon rode into third and it wasn’t until lap six that Gibbs made his move at the front of the field.

At the bottom of the huge downhill, Gibbs pulled a clean move, setting up wide early before cutting to Moss’ inside and taking the main line to claim the lead.

From there Gibbs took the race win and the round win, leaving Moss having to settle with second in the race with Mosig in third.

Monea and Mackenzie rounded out the top five.

The results at Conondale mean that with three rounds of the championship left to go, it looks to have come down to a battle between two – Matt Moss and Gibbs.

Moss holds an 18 point lead from Gibbs in the title race with Mackenzie a further 50 points behind, Mackenzie another 7 back, and Jack Moss a further 55 points in arrear.

MX1 Superpole:

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

Kirk Gibbs
Kirk Gibbs

MX2

Young 17 year-old privateer Caleb Ward has continued his mid-season run of form by taking overall honours at round seven of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals at Conondale, Queensland.

Ward, who won the fifth round at Wanneroo in Western Australia, claimed wins in the first two races of the Motul MX2 class, which together with a 10th place finish in the final moto was enough to land him first outright.

Fellow privateer Errol Willis improved throughout the day to register a sixth, fourth and second form his three races to finish second for the round, with Serco Yamaha pilot and series leader Luke Clout rounding out the podium (fourth, eighth and fourth).

Josh Cachia (Penrite Honda Racing) and Hamish Harwood (CMR KTM Redbull Motorex) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

The opening MX2 moto for the day saw Ward claim the holeshot and move into a commanding lead.

He was followed by Berry Sweet Husqvarna’s Daniel McCoy, Husqvarna Red Bull WIL Sport NZ Racing’s Kayne Lamont, Harwood and SD3 Husqvarna’s Luke Arbon.

There was chaos in the early part of the first lap when Clout was pushed off the track heading up one of the huge hills.

Unable to re-enter the same part of the track, Clout skipped a corner and approximately 20 metres of track, re-entering in 15th place thanks to an incurred 10-second penalty.

Ward quietly went about putting a big break on his rivals, with McCoy a fair way behind and another huge gap to their next rival.

By lap four, title contenders Lamont and Arbon were both out of the race – each of them breaking a wheel on the Suzuki leap.

Privateer Kale Makeham (Tunetech Racing KTM) who was fifth in the outright standings coming into the round, came to blows with fellow KTM rider Riley Graham – the pair both coming off just before the finish line on lap five.

With rivals falling by the wayside, Clout put in a wonderful performance to finish fourth in the moto, earning important points in his quest to become MX2 Australian Champion.

Ahead of him were Ward, Harwood and Brenden Harrison (Instant Security KTM), while McCoy was relegated back to fifth on the second last lap of the race.

In the second race of the day, Cachia had the honour of taking the holeshot and was battling hard on the opening lap to keep the lead from Ward.

It didn’t last too long however, and when the plucky Honda rider went down soon after, Ward shot into a lead that never looked like being reeled in.

Cachia was never too far away in his battle for a podium place, with Lamont and Arbon ahead of him and Willis and Harrison in arrear.

While he never looked like catching Ward, Lamont rode a clever race – digging in and holding out for second.

A mishap on the final lap saw Arbon drop back from third into sixth, paving the way for Cachia to climb onto the podium ahead of Willis in fourth and Makeham in fifth.

Clout battled hard but could only manage eighth place when the chequered flag was waved.

For all the drama in the opening two motos, the third was far more straight-forward, with Arbon, Cachia and Willis settling into the top three positions early on.

It was the usual suspects among the front as Clout, Harwood, Lamont, Harrison and Makeham all battled it out in an effort to gain the extra points that could be crucial in the title battle.

Not much changed from the order they went out in, with Arbon claiming the win from Willis, Lamont, Clout and Harwood.

In the outright championship standings Clout has extended his lead at the top to 16 points, with Harwood in second and Arbon a further 27 points behind in third.

The series now heads to Raymond Terrace in New South Wales for round eight, which takes place on 3 August.

MX2 CLASS: Round Results:

1) Caleb Ward 91 (35, 35, 21)

2) Errol Willis 85 (25, 28, 32)

3) Luke Clout 79 (28, 23, 28)

4) Josh Cachia 78 (23, 30, 25)

5) Hamish Harwood 77 (32, 19, 26)

6) Jay Wilson 72 (24, 24, 24)

7) Brenden Harrison 65 (30, 12, 23)

8) Dylan Long 64 (22, 22, 20)

9) Kale Makeham 63 (15, 26, 22)

10) Kayne Lamont 62 (DNF, 32, 30)

MX2 Championship Standings:

1) Luke Clout 463

2) Hamish Harwood 447

3) Luke Arbon 420

4) Caleb Ward 404

5) Brenden Harrison 399

6) Kale Makeham 397

7) Kayne Lamont 395

8) Jay Wilson 392

9) Errol Willis 325

10) Josh Cachia 235

Caled Ward leads MX2 field at Conondale
Caled Ward leads MX2 field at Conondale

MXD Report 

GYTR Yamaha rider Jed Beaton has shown his true title credentials in emphatic style by taking the Pirelli MXD class round win at the seventh round of the 2014 Monster Energy MX Nationals at Conondale, Queensland.

Beaton recorded two seconds and a first from his three races to finish well clear of nearest rivals Jack Simpson (Bolton KTM Motorcycles), teammate Wilson Todd and KTM rider Aaron Tanti.

Title rivals Nathan Crawford (Husqvarna) and Egan Mastin (Berry Sweet Husqvarna) finished the round in fifth and sixth respectively.

The opening moto saw what some considered to be the biggest surprise of the day, with privateer Yamaha rider Joel Wightman taking an unexpected holeshot.

Not overawed by the situation, Wightman took command of the race and looked mature beyond his years – leading from start to finish to claim a memorable race win.

He took the initial lead from KTM pair Jayden Rykers and Tanti, with the former looking comfortable in third for most of the race before being overtaken by Beaton on the last lap to cross the line in fourth.

It was an amazing effort from Beaton, having been dead last off the starting gate before working his way into third place and setting the scene for a successful day.

But there was drama to come when Crawford, back in MXD after a successful stint as a Wildcard in the MX2 class, crossed the line in second place.

He had done well to work his way into second after jumping in fourth, but he clearly had some bike issues as it zipped around the track making a huge amount of noise.

Once the race was finished, Crawford was penalised under Motorcycling Australia’s noise rules, and was relegated back three spots into fifth (pushing Beaton into second, Rykers into third and Mastin into fourth).

The second race in the class was less dramatic as Simpson took the holeshot from Crawford, with Tanti, Beaton, Rykers and Todd all close behind,

Not much changed throughout the race as Simpson held his lead the whole way through to claim top spot on the podium, with Beaton working his way into second for the race and Crawford finishing in third.

In moto three it was Tanti’s turn to take the holeshot, leading from Beaton, Simpson, Kyle Webster (Cully’s Yamaha) and Todd, with Crawford back in ninth and Mastin in 13th.

It wasn’t until lap six of the race that Beaton took the lead from Tanti which was never surrendered – the pair finishing the last race in first and second.

Third place went to Todd which secured him an overall podium placing for the round, while Simpson and Webster finished the race in fourth and fifth respectively.

Beaton’s round seven results means he now holds a 10-point championship lead ahead of Simpson, with Mastin and Crawford a further 13 and 15 points behind.

The series now heads to Raymond Terrace in New South Wales for round eight, which takes place on 3 August.

MXD CLASS: Round Results:

1) Jed Beaton 99 (32, 32, 35)
2) Jack Simpson 87 (24, 35, 28)
3) Wilson Todd 83 (25, 28, 30)
4) Aaron Tanti 81 (23, 26, 32)
5) Nathan Crawford 79 (26, 30, 23)
6) Egan Mastin 73 (28, 23, 22)
7) Kyle Webster 72 (22, 24, 26)
8) Jayden Rykers 72 (30, 17, 25)
9) Brock McLeary 66 (20, 22, 24)
10) Joel Wightman 60 (35, 25, DNF)

MXD Overall Championship Standings:

1) Jed Beaton 369
2) Jack Simpson 359
3) Egan Mastin 346
4) Nathan Crawford 344
5) Wilson Todd 291
6) Kyle Webster 278
7) Jayden Rykers 271
8) Aaron Tanti 258
9) Brock McLeary 242
10) Daniel Price 179

Luke Arbon (DNF-6-1) gave the South Australian 11th on the day and saw him retain third in the championship.

Luke Arbon (DNF-6-1) gave the South Australian 11th on the day and saw him retain third in the championship.
Nathan Crawford TC 250 (MXD: 5-3-8 = 5th)  “Not a good day. I got a decent start and was battling for the lead halfway through the moto, when the pipe separated from the exhaust. They decided to black flag me on the last lap, but it ended up just being a penalty only which put me back to fifth. Second and third races weren’t so good, I’ve been carrying a knee injury and my bike setup wasn’t really right for how slippery the track was. I’m just ready to bounce back at the next one.”
Nathan Crawford TC 250 (MXD: 5-3-8 = 5th) “Not a good day. I got a decent start and was battling for the lead halfway through the moto, when the pipe separated from the exhaust. They decided to black flag me on the last lap, but it ended up just being a penalty only which put me back to fifth. Second and third races weren’t so good, I’ve been carrying a knee injury and my bike setup wasn’t really right for how slippery the track was. I’m just ready to bounce back at the next one.”
Brock Winston FC 450 (MX1: 7-8-6 = 5th) “Real happy with my first top five finish for the day. A few rounds ago I was having trouble cracking the top ten. Like I’ve been saying all year I just want to keep improving on every round. I probably need to qualify a bit better but other than that it was a pretty decent day for me and I’m happy with it. The bike worked really well but I actually struggled with the track a bit. It’s not really the sort of track I enjoy riding with all the tight corners and no ruts but everyone’s gotta’ deal with it so I just dealt with it. I got to pass Townley a couple of laps in, so that was pretty cool. Obviously he’s not as fit as he used to be, but he’s still a great rider so it was good to learn some lines off him.”
Brock Winston FC 450 (MX1: 7-8-6 = 5th) “Real happy with my first top five finish for the day. A few rounds ago I was having trouble cracking the top ten. Like I’ve been saying all year I just want to keep improving on every round. I probably need to qualify a bit better but other than that it was a pretty decent day for me and I’m happy with it. The bike worked really well but I actually struggled with the track a bit. It’s not really the sort of track I enjoy riding with all the tight corners and no ruts but everyone’s gotta’ deal with it so I just dealt with it. I got to pass Townley a couple of laps in, so that was pretty cool. Obviously he’s not as fit as he used to be, but he’s still a great rider so it was good to learn some lines off him.”

Husqvarna Report

Husqvarna Motocross Racing Team rider Brock Winston scored his third consecutive career PB in the premier class of the Monster Energy MX Nationals, as the series resumed at Conondale, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Still in his rookie year in MX1, Winston made the most of home crowd support, claiming his first top-five overall with 7-8-6 finishes, as the day went to KTM’s Kirk Gibbs, from defending champion Matt Moss and Billy Mackenzie.

In MX2 super-quick Kayne Lamont’s chance of taking the round win was destroyed with his rear wheel after he came up short on Conondale’s massive downhill ski jump in Race One.

He rebounded with second and third for tenth place on the day, while the Race Three win of Luke Arbon (DNF-6-1) gave the South Australian 11th on the day and saw him retain third in the championship.

Daniel McCoy had his best result since joining the factory team to fill in for an injured Nick Sutherland with a Moto One fifth on the TC 250, and went 5-16-12 for 12th on the day.

Husqvarna’s MXD championship contenders Nathan Crawford and Egan Mastin had, by their high standards, a dismal day after both failed to really click with the traditional-styled track, finishing fifth and sixth respectively, with Mastin dropping from first to third in the championship.

Craig Anderson – Husqvarna Motocross Racing Team Manager: “I was pumped with the effort the boys put in, they all tried hard to the end and McCoy’s fifth in the first moto was our best finish in MX2. Egan seemed a little flat and not his usual bouncy self so we’ll have a chat and see if there’s anything we can address. I’m really pumped with Brock how he toughed it out. Fifth is his best overall finish of the year, he equalled his best moto finish with sixth in the last one, and he finished top ten in every moto for the first time, and they were solid top tens. It’s great, we’ve just got to keep working and Raymond Terrace will be next.”

Brock Winston FC 450 (MX1: 7-8-6 = 5th) “Real happy with my first top five finish for the day. A few rounds ago I was having trouble cracking the top ten. Like I’ve been saying all year I just want to keep improving on every round. I probably need to qualify a bit better but other than that it was a pretty decent day for me and I’m happy with it. The bike worked really well but I actually struggled with the track a bit. It’s not really the sort of track I enjoy riding with all the tight corners and no ruts but everyone’s gotta’ deal with it so I just dealt with it. I got to pass Townley a couple of laps in, so that was pretty cool. Obviously he’s not as fit as he used to be, but he’s still a great rider so it was good to learn some lines off him.”

Kayne Lamont TC 250 (MX2: 0-2-3 = 10th)  “The track was suited to me, but in the first race I jumped the big jump and came up a bit short. I collapsed a wheel and DNFed. Race two I got a decent start again, got up to second pretty quick and stayed there the whole moto. Race three I got my worst start of the day and took a while to get to fourth, passed third on the last lap and nearly got second at the finish. I was tenth for the day but if I had got the points in the first moto I would have been on top of the box.”

Egan Mastin TC 250 (MXD: 4-8-9 = 6th)  “Sometimes you have an off day, and for me that was today, but I’ll just keep on looking forward. I just got bad starts all day, and struggled with my bike setup in the first moto. We fixed it up but I just didn’t get the starts I wanted. Definitely disappointed in myself, I came into this round feeling good, but obviously didn’t come out with the result I wanted. I’ll just keep on training…”

Nathan Crawford TC 250 (MXD: 5-3-8 = 5th)  “Not a good day. I got a decent start and was battling for the lead halfway through the moto, when the pipe separated from the exhaust. They decided to black flag me on the last lap, but it ended up just being a penalty only which put me back to fifth. Second and third races weren’t so good, I’ve been carrying a knee injury and my bike setup wasn’t really right for how slippery the track was. I’m just ready to bounce back at the next one.”

KTM Report

KTM Motocross Racing Team rider Kirk Gibbs has taken just the third MX1 victory of his career and his second this year in a thrilling day’s racing at the seventh round of the Monster Energy MX Nationals at Conondale.

Gibbs treated fans to exciting come-from-behind charges in both the first two motos, coming from tenth place to second in the opener after he was baulked off the start by another rider.

In the second moto he passed defending champion Matt Moss on the final lap then fell inches short of Billy Mackenzie at the line, setting up a delicious contest with the top three riders covered by a single point and the next winner set to take the overall.

In the final Gibbs trailed Moss by a couple of seconds in the opening laps, but soon began drawing him closer, making the pass and going on to win the day by five seconds over Moss and Mackenzie, with Monea and Winston filling out the top five.

Gibbs now lies just 18 points in arrears of Moss at the head of the Monster Energy MX1 table, 50 points clear of third-placed Mackenzie.

Rob Twyerould – Team Manager: “A great day. Obviously without Ford racing it was quite sad to lose him during the week, but Kirk, since Manji, since Wanneroo, we had a bit of a rest and then we really put our heads down and aimed for this second half of the season, and he’s absolutely flying, his fitness is brilliant, his speed is really good. He didn’t get a great start in the first moto, but just came through so strong at the end. His starts got better and better as the day went on and they went into that last moto three of them separated by one apart. So whoever won that moto won the day, and Kirk showed his determination – I believe Moss tried everything he could to stay in front, but once Kirk got past him, he broke him. A fantastic day. I didn’t get here until this morning, so Danny, Kyle, Jordan and stand-in truck driver Kevvie did an amazing job to get everything prepared and ready. A great weekend.”

Kirk Gibbs (KTM 450 SX-F) – “A really good day actually, I can’t complain at all. Real consistent with two seconds and a first. I’m a little bit disappointed with that first one, and even a little bit with that second one – I feel like it could have been pretty close to three wins today. Just fell short of time in both races and in the last one it was good for me so really happy for myself and for the team, family and friends, everybody that came and supported me today. I think the track today was one where you had to be really patient, I’ve always been known to be really smooth when there’s not much to turn off. I think today’s track played to my strengths, just a little bit disappointing we couldn’t make it a couple of extra points up.”

In MX2 Racing, North Queenslander Caleb Ward erased his ‘sand rider’ reputation on the fast, slippery slopes of Conondale, demolishing the class in the first two races before securing the win with 10th in the final after a bad start to leap frog into fourth in the championship. Red Bull KTM’s Hamish Harwood lost just two points to championship leader Luke Clout with fifth on the day after a crash in the second moto while Brenden Harrison, Dylan Long and Kale Makeham were seventh, eighth and ninth on the day, respectively.

Caleb Ward (KTM 250 SX) – “The first two races were awesome, I sort of got out front and rode my own race, just concentrated and put down good laps and had fun. I really liked the track – a bit more natural terrain and old school. I was a little bit bummed out after Wanneroo when everyone said I was just good in the sand, so I felt that I had to prove myself a little bit. I think I got it done, which is pretty sweet.”

Hamish Harwood (KTM 250 SX) – “It was an okay day for the championship, but racing-wise a pretty horrible day! In the second I got a bad start, went down on the second lap, took a long time to get back on and ended up 12th, which cost me a lot of points. In the last I just really didn’t feel comfortable on the bike and went backwards a few places which I don’t usually do. I lost two points, but we’re still here and still healthy, so bring on the last three rounds.”

In MXD racing – an impressive Moto Two victory helped KTM’s Jack Simpson (7, 1, 4) to second on the day behind Jed Beaton, despite losing front braking on the first lap of the third moto. Talent and determination in equal quantities sees him remain just five points off the championship lead.

Jack Simpson (KTM 250 SX) – “After the first race me and Dad and Steve Jones from Tune Tech Racing went up and had a look at some lines and then in the second, I got the holeshot, put five real fast laps down and pretty much cruised to the end. Last race I was third out of the corner and just waiting for things to calm down when my front brake pads fell out! But I didn’t give in, gave it my all and only one dude went around me. Jed will be five points ahead now, but we’re still in the hunt. Still a lot of races to go till the end of the year and I’m fit and ready.”

GYTR Report

Yamaha’s factory supported MXD team, GYTR Yamaha, had a red letter day at round seven of the MX Nationals at Conondale with Jed Beaton taking the round win and reclaiming the leaders red plate while Wilson Todd broke through for his first podium of the year to finish third for the day.

With Beaton back to full fitness after his surgery just prior to the previous MXD round in Murray Bridge, he was out to regain the form that saw him lead the championship early in the series. He kicked his day off on the front foot taking pole position in qualifying and was ready to battle in the three, 20 minute moto format.

He recovered from an atrocious start in race one to charge all the way through to third place as they crossed the finish line. He was then moved up to second when a fellow competitor was relegated three positions due to a noise issue. Moto two and Beaton was again on the move forward and made his way to another second place. In moto three, Beaton wasn’t to be denied. He slotted into second early in the race and began stalking the leader. He made his move by the midway point and went on to win the race.

His 2-2-1 results gave him the victory on the day and has moved him back to the championship leader, 10 points clear of his nearest rival.

“We have had a pretty big break between the last MXD round and I needed the time as I felt terrible in the days after Murray Bridge,” Beaton explains. “I was determined to get my season back on track here at Conondale and it felt good to make that happen.

“The track wasn’t easy as it was quite a hard surface and finding traction was tough, but my bike was awesome and the team again did a great job.

“It was cool win today with Yamaha doing our retro round and even better that Wilson was able to get up on the podium as well,” Beaton ends.

Wilson Todd had shown he had the speed to match it with the top dogs in the MXD category, he just needed to put a solid days racing together with no mistakes to complete the picture. Todd did exactly that at Conondale, taking 6-4-3 finishes in the three motos to claim third place for the round, his first podium in the MXD class.

Todd qualified in fourth place and carried on that form into the racing. He was in the thick of the battle all day and the podium result is a great reward for the hard work the North Queenslander had put in during the break in the racing.

“My goal for the last couple of rounds has been to get on the podium and it was good to make that happen. I changed a few things in the way I trained and also spent a lot of time down around Brisbane riding different tracks and with different riders.

“I can’t thank the team enough for their support and also the Latimer family who I have stayed with for the past month. Now, I want to keep getting on the podium in the final three rounds and finish the season strongly,” Todd said.