MX Nationals

Championship Leader Kirk Gibbs Ready To Lead KTM Into Nowra

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If the opposition thought things were going to get easier from KTM's pair of championship-leading MX1 factory team riders coming into this weekend's eighth round of the Monster Energy MX Nationals, they might have another thought coming.

Championship leader Kirk Gibbs rode to an almost incomprehensible podium finish last time out while carrying a fractured shoulder blade and a level of pain that was almost enough to make a grown man cry.

With two weeks for the fracture to heal however, Gibbs rates himself at 95% or better coming into Nowra ‰ÛÒ and says he‰Ûªs ready to continue the kind of speed and consistency which has generated a 63-point championship lead, and typified his 2015 season.

‰ÛÏNowra should be good, I've ridden there a few times, including the press day there a few weeks back." Gibbs commented. "Hopefully they get a good track prep in there and it turns out quite nice for Sunday.

"It's a tight race track so the starts will be key there. My shoulder is definitely feeling a lot better now so I‰Ûªm a lot more confident coming into this round than I was ahead of the last. I'm happy with the championship position that I'm in, but I don't really want to just ride around to conserve points towards the championship, I want to keep going out there and giving it my all and try to see if we can wrap this up before the end.‰Û
Luke Styke has building back towards the kind of form that saw him win just the third-ever MX1 round of his career aboard a KTM 450 SX-F at Broadford in April. - Credit: Jeff Crow
His KTM team mate, championship second-placed Luke Styke has meantime been building back towards the kind of form that saw him win just the third-ever MX1 round of his career aboard a KTM 450 SX-F at Broadford in April.

The Jervis Bay rider will have the added advantage of being able to maintain his training routine right up to the last minute coming into this weekend's round, which takes place just 10 minutes from his home.

‰ÛÏThe home round feeling is great, Nowra is like 10 minutes down the road from me and I feel like it‰Ûªs quite a benefit to be so familiar with the layout and the dirt." Styke commented. "All my friends and family are going to be there plus I get to sleep on my own bed the night before so, it's a lot easier to maintain your routines right up to the event because you're not on the road.

"It's got to be less stressful. The start is going to be a big thing, but if we can get clear of the traffic early on we‰Ûªll be good. There's going to be a few people coming to see me, all my family is from down here and all my mates as well, so I'm looking forward to it.‰Û
KTM Factory Support rider Caleb Ward will be aiming for an incredible fifth straight MX2 round win at Nowra. - Credit: Jeff Crow
KTM Factory Support rider Caleb Ward will be aiming for an incredible fifth straight MX2 round win at Nowra. His fourth consecutive round win at Shepparton a fortnight ago however, was his hardest fought one so far, so the opposition is raising its game and so is KTM 250 SX-F-mounted Ward.

"It's pretty cool coming in aiming for five in a row." Ward said. "I've just been doing the same old thing, just having fun and not really thinking about anything too much - just taking it race by race.

"I've ridden there once before and it's a pretty tight track so obviously starts will be key, hopefully I can pull a couple of holeshots and go and ride my own races and go out and get a couple of wins. ‰Û

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