Kirk Gibbs wins Wanneroo MX Nationals
The Thor MX1 class had three gruelling racing in the sand today with KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Kirk Gibbs securing another round victory and extending his championship points lead, at round five of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals at Wanneroo in Western Australia.
After a 20-minute qualifying session this morning, GoPro Superpole proved to be more important than ever – with series points leader Gibbs (KTM), CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris, Todd Waters (Wilson Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki), National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Matt Moss, and Jesse Dobson all looking to collect additional championship points.
And when each rider had put down their fastest individual laps, it was Ferris who collected the Superpole cheque with a 1:42.344 lap time, equalising on championship points with Gibbs, and setting up the day as a fight for the red plate.
With the championship lead well and truly up for grabs at round five, thousands of eager spectators watched on as the Thor MX1 class lined up for moto one, and when gates dropped it was Ferris who carried his momentum from Superpole, to snatch up the first MXstore hole shot for the day.
With one lap in the books, it was Ferris who led from Gibbs, Moss, and Wilson Coolair Motul Suzuki’s Waters, while Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team’s Dylan Long slotted in to an impressive fifth position ahead of KTM’s Dobson in sixth.
With races at Wanneroo being a 20-minute dash, any mistake would prove to be crucial. With that known, Ferris took to the sand like a champion, looking smooth and consistent out in front after four laps, while Gibbs continued to chase his tail just ahead of Moss.
By the time the Thor MX1 class reached the half way mark in moto one, the running order saw no changes, with CDR Yamaha’s Ferris continuing to lead from Gibbs and Moss, while Waters and Long completed the top five standings.
When the Thor MX1 competitors received the last lap board, CDR Yamaha’s Ferris was well and truly in the box seat to collect the race one victory, while Gibbs continued to attack the deep sand and close the gap in second position ahead of Moss in third.
And when the chequered flag flew, despite a minor mishap with a lapper causing Ferris to go down, he remounted and did exactly was required to collect his first race win for the weekend, crossing the line in first position only a bike’s length ahead of Gibbs in second, while Moss wrapped up race one in third. Suzuki mounted Waters and Honda’s Long concluded race one in fourth and fifth places respectively.
When race two kicked off, once again it was CDR Yamaha’s Ferris who launched off the start and in to the early race lead, followed by his closest opponent Gibbs and National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Moss in third.
After two laps, Ferris had pulled five seconds on KTM’s Gibbs, checking out on the MX1 field and allowing the battles for remaining positions to happen behind him. Gibbs continued to circulate in second place, only narrowly holding back hard charging Moss and Waters who held down third and fourth places respectively.
As the Thor MX1 class reached the 10 minute mark, the running order saw Ferris dominating in the lead position, from Gibbs, Moss, Waters and Mosig. Honda mounted Long was just outside the top five in sixth, followed by Dobson, Law, Wilson and Wright who completed the top ten standings.
As moto two approached the closing stages, Wilson Coolair Motul Suzuki’s Waters began his charge to the front- managing to make passes on both Moss and Gibbs to move in to second position behind race leader Ferris.
But when the chequered flag flew, no one’s performance could match that of CDR Yamaha’s Ferris, taking his second consecutive win for the day by an impressive four seconds, while Waters crossed the finish line in second, followed by Gibbs who finished moto two in third.
When the final moto kicked off this afternoon, it was Gibbs who this time edged out Ferris to take the third holeshot for the day, however it was a disaster for CDR Yamaha’s Ferris who went down after just a couple of turns, marking an early end to his day, and leaving the track in the hands of Racesafe.
With two laps in the books for the MX1 class, Gibbs continued to maintain his lead, followed by teammate Dobson in second, while National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Mosig held down third.
From there, Gibbs completely checked out on the MX1 field, showcasing his ‘diesel engine’ form, and allowing the bar to bar racing to happen behind him.
By the half way mark, both KTM Motocross Racing Team riders Gibbs and Dobson continued to dominate in positions one and two, while Mosig remained in third ahead of Jamie Law in fourth, and Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team’s Wilson who rounded out the top five.
When the third moto for the MX1 class reached it’s closing stages, there was little change to the running order, with only Mosig managing to get by Dobson to slot in to second position ahead of the KTM rider.
And when the chequered flag flew for the final time today, it was Gibbs who took the last race victory, while Mosig wrapped up moto three in second position, followed by Dobson who secured his best result so far this year finishing in third.
With a DNF from CDR Yamaha’s Ferris in the final moto, the Thor MX1 round overall saw Gibbs take the overall at Wanneroo, while National Pump Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Moss collected second, and Waters finished round five in third.
With Gibbs’ consistent 2, 3, 1 results today, the KTM mounted rider will now enter the mid-season break with the Thor MX1 red plate, and a 17-point lead on Suzuki’s Waters.
Kirk Gibbs (KTM 450 SX-F) – KTM Motocross Racing Team – Round Five Overall Winner
“I’d been getting great starts but I was always a little bit wider than Dean, so he was always holding the inside, but in the last one I pinched him a little harder and stayed more inside around the first turn. I went off the first tabletop and I scrubbed but jumped straight. I felt something hit the back of my bike and I guess that was Dean, it was a pretty close call for me but I just kept going, and then saw him down the next lap. I went over to the CDR boys later and said ‘sorry, but it was just a racing incident, I couldn’t do anything when I was out front’. Even Dacka said to me that it wasn’t my fault which made me feel a little bit better; you always feel bad when someone goes down from hitting you. But obviously it was out of my control and I couldn’t do anything about that. I’m just happy to come away with a solid day. Dean was riding really well in those first two, but I was able to finish off the day strong in than last moto and get the overall. It’s nice to be where we are in the points but it is a long year and we’ll just try to keep going and having a solid second half to the year. It’s really good to get my second race win, we didn’t start the first two rounds at 100% so I definitely feel like my speed has got better.”
Matt Moss (Kawasaki KX450F) 2nd overall
“I really felt like I got my mojo back in that last race,” Moss described. “I was penalised, had a big crash and had some tough battles, but it really brought out the best in me. I’m happy with the result, although I felt like I could have gained better placings in the first two races. It’s good to bounce back with a podium for the whole team and go into this mid-season break on a positive note.”
Todd Waters (Suzuki RM-Z450) 3rd Overall
“It wasn’t really my weekend – everything I did seemed to go wrong (laughs), but that aside, I was feeling really good in free practice on Saturday and I had the bike and my setup working well this weekend. I had a bit of a crash this morning and it corked my leg really bad, so I just raced through the pain and the second moto actually went quite well. In the third moto, I felt good but I had a crash and had to come back from around 19th to fifth. The team are happy, but I’m not completely content with today’s result. But in saying that, we did move up a position in the championship and we now have the mid-season break to regroup and focus. I’m just going to spend the next few weeks getting myself and my body right, and head in to the second half of the season fresh and healthy.”
Kade Mosig (Kawasaki KX450F) – 4th overall
“I came into this round prepared and believing in myself as I love riding sand, but I was disappointed I made a mistake on the opening lap of the first race,” Mosig explained. “I regrouped for the second race and got up front and had some good battles on my way to fifth, which was solid, but not where I really want to be. The last moto was chaotic and I just tried to hang in there and tick my laps off. It’s encouraging to finish the first half of the season on a good note, but I feel a little frustrated with how it’s gone as a whole. We’ll reset, reassess and make some improvements before the second half of the championship swings into action.”
Jesse Dobson (KTM 450 SX-F) – 5th overall
“I feel a bit bummed that I didn’t do better today, but I just got a bit fatigued, and that’s just due to a lack of bike time. I’ve ridden the bike six times since I’ve been back from injury, and then raced this weekend. So the tongue came out a little bit, got caught in the chain and Mossy and Mosig ended up getting by me – I feel like I let that one slip. I’m I had a big crash in the first one when I was trying to pull a tearoff and I didn’t get my hand back on the bar while I was trying to get it fifth. That would have made the difference on the day but what can you do, sometimes I just have to learn from my mistakes and that’s what we’re doing. The results are showing that we are getting better and that’s the main thing. Coming into this mid-season break it’s going to be good to get some more bike time in, and come into the second half ready to fire.”
Luke Wilson (Suzuki RM-Z450) – 20th overall
“This round wasn’t as good as the last round for me. I kept it to myself but I’m not a real big fan of Wanneroo to be honest. I came here to get through this weekend, and to move on to the rest of the season – it was a hard round for me. I started off ok, I was pretty happy with 13th in moto one, but from there it went not so great In the second race I got a decent start, but I had a crash and hurt my back again, so in the third race I was in a bit of pain and I just got through it. I’m just happy to have gotten through this weekend healthy enough to move on to the rest of the series.”
Craig Dack – CDR Yamaha Team Manager
“I was standing directly behind where Dean went down and from what I saw, it didn’t look good. I could see both riders fighting for the same space of track and two strong willed riders not giving in. It was a racing incident and in no way do we believe Kirk Gibbs is at fault and we thank him for coming over immediately after the race to enquire about Dean As a team we targeted the WA round as we knew it would be a major factor in the championship. Dean is a strong sand rider and everything was on track until the start of the third race. Dean looked amazing and was a step above the other riders all day. Unfortunately, this crash was a disappointing way to end the day but Dean has our full support and hopefully we can get the results back on his wrist ASAP and make a plan moving forward. We lost a few points there but in no terms are we out of this championship, Dean and the CDR Yamaha team are fighters and we will continue to keep swinging and fight this out to the very end,” said a determined Dack
Thor MX1 round five results
1) Kirk Gibbs – 97 points
2) Matt Moss – 86 points
3) Todd Waters – 86 points
4) Kade Mosig – 80 points
5) Jesse Dobson – 80 points
6) Dylan Long – 73 points
7) Jamie Law – 72 points
8) Dean Ferris – 70 points
9) Jay Wilson – 69 points
10) Mitch Taylor – 61 points
Thor MX1 Championship Standings
1) Kirk Gibbs – 351 points
2) Todd Waters – 334 points
3) Dean Ferris – 324 points
4) Matt Moss – 314 points
5) Kade Mosig – 267 points
6) Dylan Long – 258 points
7) Brett Metcalfe – 225 points
8) Jay Wilson – 221 points
9) Jacob Wright – 193 points
10) Michael Menchi – 188 points
Crawford secures round victory and MX2 red plate at Wanneroo
It was yet another action packed round of racing at Wanneroo in Western Australia today, with Husqvarna mounted Nathan Crawford taking a pivotal round win, and snatching up the Motul MX2 championship lead at round five of the Motul MX Nationals.
When the MX2 competitors headed out for qualifying this morning, it was local Jayden Rykers who emerged as the early man to catch with the fastest qualifying time of a 1:44.008, while Husqvarna’s Crawford and Honda mounted Webster collected the second and third quickest laps.
When gates dropped on race one, spectators were five rows deep on the fence-line, and riders were treated to a full house for their first moto of the day. It was CRF Honda Racing’s Webster who secured the first MX2 MXstore holeshot, ahead of Rykers and KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Caleb Ward.
From there, moto one was set up to go down to the wire. With Webster and Rykers holding valuable local knowledge of the tack, and Ward who is known as a sand specialist, all putting on a performance for the MX2 top spot.
After three laps, race leader Webster began to come under fire from KTM mounted Rykers, the pair chopping and changing line choices in order to make up time – Ward also began to feel the pressure of lightening fast Crawford who was attempting to make his dash for third position.
From there, the front four, Webster, Rykers, Ward, and Crawford all began to check out on the field, while Serco Yamaha’s Wilson Todd also joined the party, tagging on to Crawford’s rear wheel in fifth position.
By the time Motul MX2 competitors had reached the ten-minute mark in moto one, there had been little change to the running order, with Webster continuing to lead from Rykers and Ward, while Todd made his way in to fourth position followed by Crawford and DPH Motorsport’s Jed Beaton.
With five minutes on the clock remaining, no one looked as if they could get near Western Australian Webster, and despite fellow local Rykers’ every attempt to make a pass, the KTM mounted youngster could not make a challenge for the lead stick.
So when the Motul MX2 class received the last lap board, Webster looked in control out in front, while Rykers and Ward continued to race for the final podium positions – Despite an earlier mistake, Crawford made his way back in to fourth, while Yamaha’s Todd held down fifth.
And when the chequered flag flew, it was CRF Honda Racing Team’s Webster who capitalised on a home track advantage, crossing the line with his first moto victory for the day, ahead of Rykers in second, while KTM’s Ward wrapped up race one in third.
When moto two got underway, it was Husqvarna’s Crawford who edged out Ward to take the second holeshot of the day, but it didn’t take long for Ward to make his presence known, and after three laps Ward’s charge to the front was unstoppable – the KTM rider finding the perfect line, passing Crawford to move in to the race lead, relegating the Husqvarna rider to second position.
By the time the Motul MX2 class reached the half way mark in moto two, Ward continued to dominate out in front, while Crawford, Rykers and local Webster went head to head for the remaining podium positions. Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Dylan Wills held down an impressive fifth, while Serco Yamaha’s Wade Hunter, Dean Porter and Hamish Harwood occupied sixth, seventh and eighth positions.
With five minutes left of the clock, there was little change to the running order, the only passes to note being from Hunter and Porter who both managed to get by Wills to slot in to fifth and sixth positions.
And when the chequered flag flew for the second time, it was Ward’s turn to celebrate – taking an emphatic moto two victory from Crawford who finished in second, while Rykers managed to snatch away third from a hard charging Webster who wrapped up moto two in fourth.
When the final moto for the Motul MX2 class kicked off this afternoon, spectators watched on to see whether a third rider would take a race victory at Wanneroo – And once again it was Husqvarna’s Crawford who shot off to the early race lead, ahead of the consistent Rykers and Ward in second and third positions.
After only two laps, Beaton who started moto three in fourth made his presence known, passing both Ward and Rykers on the same lap to move in to second position, and begin his chase for race leader Crawford.
It was going in to lap five that Beaton executed a successful pass on Husqvarna’s Crawford, taking the race three lead, and allowing Crawford and Rykers to fight for second position behind him.
From there DPH Motorsport’s Beaton looked ultra comfortable in the rough and deep Wanneroo conditions, managing to keep Crawford at bay and attempting to set himself up for the final race victory.
However, when riders came past the finish line to receive the last lap board for the final time, it was Crawford who had made a pass back on Beaton to secure the lead once again with one lap to go, followed by Rykers, Ward and Porter.
And when bikes crossed the line for the final time, the determination of Husqvarna mounted Crawford saw him awarded with his first and final race win of the day, while Beaton was forced to settle for second, and Rykers remained consistent finishing in third.
With three different race winners across three motos in the Motul MX2 class, consistency was the key when the overall results were tallied, and it was Crawford who’s 4,2,1 results saw him awarded with his first round victory for 2016 as well as the MX2 red plate, while Ward wrapped up round five in second, followed by local Western Australian Rykers who concluded the round in third.
Nathan Crawford (Husqvarna FC250)
“This feeling is indescribable. I’ve won rounds before but it hasn’t felt this good since I had that wildcard ride at Swan Hill as an U19 rider and won. It’s a great feeling because of how brutal the track was and how deep the class is. For me to carry the momentum into the break is great. I used to think the red plate would be a bit of a weight around my neck, but now I feel like I’m going to take every round one step at a time. Every race we rock up to, we start from zero. That’s what we’ve been doing this year and that’s been working for me, I think my worst result this year moto-wise has been eighth and other than that I’ve consistently been inside the top five. I guess that’s what got me the red plate and a 13-point lead, so I’m pretty happy with that. I’ve never actually had the red plate before in my senior career, so I’m very happy.”
Caleb Ward (KTM 250 SX-F)
“I lost one point to the championship lead, but I gained points on Jed and moved up to third in the championship so it was a decent day. I think I was five points up on Crawford going into the that last moto, but I sort of stuffed it up a little bit, my lower back was really sore and I just didn’t really get into a flow but hey, it happens. I just wasn’t jumping all the bumps or getting the turns nice, I was making a lot of mistakes and wasn’t riding to my potential. All in all still a decent day but it could have been a lot better if I’d have been able to flow a bit better.”
Jayden Rykers (KTM 250 SX)
“It’s a good feeling to be back at home and in comfortable surroundings, and to get a good result in front of the home crowd, family and friends. They were stoked on how the day went. The track was completely different to when we raced there for the State titles and stuff, it’s never formed up like it did today. It made for interesting racing and really levelled the playing field. I had three top-six starts today, and always knocked off a few guys in the first couple of corners, so it wasn’t too much work going through the pack. It’s really great to move up into fourth in my rookie season, and to go with the podium into the mid-season break is really good for the confidence.”
Jake Moss (Kawasaki KX250F))
“Today was the worst day of racing I’ve had this year,” Moss mused. “It’s disappointing as Wanneroo is one of my favourite tracks in Australia and I came in prepared and confident of a good result. I’m pretty sore after my crash, but this five-week break has come at a perfect time, I’ll be working hard to ensure I’m back to full health before round six.”
Luke Arbon – Injured
“Right now I’m spending a lot of time on my back just trying to relax as much as I can, I’m still pretty sore. Hopefully after six weeks we can ditch the neck brace, and see what happens after that. It was definitely nerve-wracking lying there wondering if I was going to be fine; I could feel my toes fine but you never know what could go wrong when you are being transported. I’m definitely very lucky. I had to have a 10-minute test on my race bike before going to the track on Saturday, and on the first lap I came up a little bit short somewhere I have 100 times before, so I didn’t really brace for it, but it was just the way I clipped the down ramp that flicked me right over the front. I knew straight away from the crunch that something was wrong and the pain was crazy. When you grow up and all you know is racing, obviously it sucks just watching the boys race today, but I’m still a fan of the sport – it just really makes me want to be there again.”
Motul MX2 round five results
1) Nathan Crawford – 95 points
2) Caleb Ward – 93 points
3) Jayden Rykers – 92 points
4) Kyle Webster – 87 points
5) Jed Beaton – 81 points
6) Dean Porter – 76 points
7) Wilson Todd – 72 points
8) Dylan Wills – 66 points
9) Hamish Harwood – 65 points
10) Wade Hunter – 58 points
Motul MX2 Championship Standings
1) Nathan Crawford – 326 points
2) Jed Beaton – 313 points
3) Caleb Ward – 305 points
4) Jayden Rykers – 280 points
5) Wilson Todd – 270 points
6) Kyle Webster – 261 points
7) Jake Moss – 255 points
8) Dylan Wills – 239 points
9) Dean Porter – 228 points
10) Hamish Harwood – 226 points
The Motul MX Nationals will now commence the mid-season break, with the sixth round of the championship, being held at Nowra in New South Wales on July 3, 2016.