MX Nationals

Catching Up With Kirk Gibbs


KTM Motocross Racing’s Kirk Gibbs entered round eight with a mere 18 points separating him from Team Motul Suzuki’s Matt Moss, and well within striking distance of the 2013 MX1 Champ.

At the conclusion of the round, Moss had extended his championship lead to 40 points, and Gibbs was a notable absentee from the podium.

Now, as we prepare for the ninth round of the Monster Energy MX Nationals in Gladstone, Gibbs has a mountain of a task ahead of him if he wants to knock the reigning Suzuki champ off his perch.
Kirk Gibbs knows how to win motos and take overall round wins, and will be channeling all of that experience at the final two rounds - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
Kirk, Raymond Terrace seemed like it was really tough on you, what was happening with you last round?

I actually had the flu leading up to the round, so once I got the flu I just tried to beat it. I didn’t really do anything that week but lay around. When I got to the race I felt ok on Saturday and then on Sunday I felt not too bad too. But by then I was just pretty lethargic and wasn’t my normal self. The first two races didn’t go too well and then the last race I felt fine, but had a bit of bad luck and I guess that’s just the way it went.

It seems like getting sick couldn’t have come at a worse time! You were 18 points behind Moss going into round eight; he now has a 40-point lead on you heading to Gladstone. Is this a tough position for you to be in?

Not really, I’m 40 points down but it’s not over yet, and in saying that, I’ve got nothing to lose. Matt is sort of the one that has it all to lose. He’s got the number one plate, the points lead and a target on his back. I’m just going into the next round hoping to ride like I know I can, and hopefully come out and gain some points. Then we can take it down to Coolum, keep close, have some good battles, and keep it interesting
A strong team always helps when it comes to chasing championships, and Kirk Gibbs has one of the best in the business behind him - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
Your team manager Rob Twyerould made some comments prior to round eight about him really wanting you to make your move on Moss at Raymond Terrace, so you could enter Coolum with a lead - did that put a lot of pressure on you?

No not at all. I don’t keep up too much with what everyone says, I kind of stay away from it all. I wasn’t trying to worry about the championship too much, and that’s the outlook I’ve tried to have all year and it’s been working. Raymond Terrace had nothing to do with pressure; it just wasn’t a good weekend for me, and you can’t perform every weekend. In saying that, I would have ended up third if I didn’t have that bad last race, and that’s probably the worst race meeting I’ve had all season. So no pressure, it was all on me.

The battle between you and Moss has really been the talking point of the MX1 class this year, have you had a lot of fun racing with Moss?

Yeah definitely! It hasn’t just been us though; there have been other guys too. I think we have just been the most consistent out of everyone, but yeah it’s been awesome. Being my rookie year last year, I started to get some good results towards the end of the season, so I just wanted to come in this year with no expectations and just wanted to find out where I was at. I got on the podium the first couple of rounds and I realised I could run up the front, and that’s where I have been the whole year. It’s been really good, I’m where I want to be, and where I should be - so I’m really happy.

Is it difficult at this point of the series to not think about the championship and just go out and ride your bike?

Yeah it is. We only have two rounds to go, and it’s two weeks in a row so definitely. It’s all going to come around really quick and it will be over before we know it. But when I say I don’t think about the championship, you always have it in the back of your mind a little bit. For me though, I have nothing to lose now. This is the best year I’ve had in the 450 class to date, and it’s only my second year. I’m really happy with where I’m at, and if I don’t win the title I’m still going to be happy. I want to win the title, but I’m going to be happy either way with how I’ve performed.
Kirk Gibbs is not about to turn his back on the championship - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
What’s the plan of attack for Gladstone?

I’ve been working on my starts a lot. At Raymond Terrace we actually caught onto some stuff, and I’ve been working on those things a lot. Hopefully I can go into Gladstone and get two good starts – those 30-minute races suit me a lot better. I’ve seen the track before, never raced there but I know what to expect. I want to put in two really solid races and hopefully be on top of the podium, if not the top three. It would be awesome to finish in front of Matt and get those points a bit closer so it’s a bit more interesting heading into Coolum. That way he doesn’t just have to ride around at the final round (laughs).

Can you still win this championship?

Yeah definitely. Raymond Terrace wasn’t my best weekend and I lost 22 points, but in saying that I only finished fourth overall. Anything can happen between now and Coolum - it’s still possible. There are still five races left and it’s not going to be over until the fat lady sings that’s for sure!

Thanks for the chat Kirk, and good luck at Gladstone!

No problems, thanks.

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