Motocross

Gibbs Confident Heading Into MX Nationals After Final NZ Hit-out

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KTM Motocross Racing Team rider Kirk Gibbs concluded his New Zealand Motocross Championship campaign in impressive style at Pukekohe, qualifying fastest and winning two of three motos to wrap up second in the championship.

Gibbs who lists Pukekohe as his favourite racetrack in New Zealand and he made that apparent, finding lines and a flow which enabled him to make time on the other championship contenders.

Only a setback in the first moto prevented him from winning when another rider swept across Gibbs‰Ûª front wheel and tipped him off at the start, but his 7, 1, 1 scorecard was still enough for second behind defending champion Cody Cooper and ahead of Kade Mosig.

It was also ample to secure the championship runner-up position behind New Zealander Cooper and ahead of John Phillips.

‰ÛÏI really couldn't have asked for a better finish to help build towards the Australian series." Gibbs stated. "The track was awesome today, it was a little bit muddy and maybe a little bit one line-ish but I did a bit of exploring and found some good lines and made a heap of passes.

"I felt like I had some good corner speed and some great lines which obviously helps. The track was a heap of fun today, and I think this is my favourite track in New Zealand anyway, so I'm happy about being here.‰Û
Styke will need to manage an eye injury in the next few weeks - Credit: Andy McGechan
KTM team mate and MX1 rookie Luke Styke has had a very productive NZ championship, quickly learning how to bring his considerable speed to bear on the ground-tearing premier class machinery.

He and Gibbs traded fastest laps in qualifying before Styke eventually finished second-fastest, then the 22-year-old from Jervis Bay took an ominous second on the opening moto in which he closed right up to defending champion Cody Cooper.

Sadly for Styke however, he would have no further chance to prove his potential, when in the first minute of the second moto some debris penetrated his goggle and hit him in the eye.

Styke bravely pushed on, and incredibly salvaged fifth place in the moto despite only being able to see with one eye! He will seek medical advice back home today but is still expected to face the starter when the MX Nationals begins at Horsham on March 29.

‰ÛÏMy eye‰Ûªs really sore, I hope I haven't done anything bad to it." Styke commented. "The day started off really good, with Gibbsy and I 1-2 in qualifying, and we were back and forth pretty much until the last lap.

"The first Moto started well, we got up to second and caught Coops but just ran out of laps. I feel like I had the speed to win that race, but I couldn't make it happen. In the second Moto I put myself in a good position, but picked up a rock in my goggle. Riding with only one eye for the whole race was pretty hard.

"If we are looking at the big picture though, it's all about getting everything ready for a fortnight's time, and I feel like I'm in the right position to put in some good results and podiums back home and fight for the championship.‰Û

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