|South Australians hoping to shine on home soil in MX Nationals returnA confident Kirk Gibbs will approach this Sunday’s fourth round of the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, in South Australia hopeful of a breakthrough win in the Motul Pro Lites division for 2011.|
Gibbs, 21, is now based in Queensland but his roots rest deep in South Australian motocross, the Murray Bridge circuit ranking as a favourite on the calendar for the Serco Yoshimura Yamaha star.
“I’m definitely looking for a big weekend, which is pretty much a home race for me and I have a lot of family and friends coming to watch,” Gibbs said. “I’ve ridden the Murray Bridge track more than any other in the series, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Current national number two Gibbs trails JDR Motorex KTM’s Matt Moss in the Pro Lites title by 85 points, but he’s certain that he has what it takes to break Moss’ three-round win streak if he can gain a good start come Sunday.
“Getting out of the start gates will be important, because I haven’t been able to get out with [Moss] to get close enough to him,” Gibbs added. “I know my speed’s good, but races are won in the start considering the short motos. I need to try and put the pressure on him and see if he makes any mistakes.”
While Gibbs sits second behind Moss in the title chase, third place in the series is Moss’ teammate Brenden Harrison and he’s another who could shine considering his two podium finishes scored so far this year. Rounding out the top five to date is Cody Mackie (Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda) and Daniel McCoy (Rockstar Motul Suzuki).
Another South Australian who will contend for the honours on Sunday is Gawler local Luke Arbon, the 18-year-old GYTR Rockstar Energy Yamaha rider who won Broadford’s opening Pirelli Under 19s round in March.
Arbon currently trails Raceline Pirelli Suzuki’s Errol Willis in the series by 26 points, while winner of the most recent round, Dylan Peterson (Team 07 Axis Motorsports Honda), sits third.
The premier Rockstar Energy Drink Pro Open category is lead by Kiwi grand prix veteran Josh Coppins, the CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha rider topping the standings by nine points over Australia’s Monster Energy Kawasaki rising star Dean Ferris, 20.
Behind that pair is Coppins’ defending three-time champion teammate Jay Marmont, who in turn leads Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing’s Cheyne Boyd. Last time the nationals raced in SA, it was Victorian Boyd who won overall in 2009. Completing the talent-filled top five is 21-year-old rookie Lawson Bopping (Raceline Pirelli Suzuki), with round one winner Scotsman Billy Mackenzie (Monster Energy Kawasaki) sixth.
Multiple-time national champion Craig Anderson has been ruled out of this weekend’s race with a shoulder injury, his position on the Berry Sweet Strawberries/Lucas Oil/Honda team filled by Adam Monea.
Contested on Mothers’ Day this season, the Murray Bridge club will play host to round four of the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals title chase on Sunday, 8 May. Practice and qualifying will commence at 8:30am with the official opening ceremonies taking place at approximately 10:30am.