KTM Motocross Racing Team rider Kirk Gibbs has rebounded from last October's serious injury to begin his MX Nationals title defence with a share of the top points, as the sport‰Ûªs premier series kicked off today at Horsham in Victoria.
Overlooked slightly in the pre-series hype before what is expected to be one of the most competitive MX Nationals seasons ever, the number one plate holder proved that the class and work ethic of a champion will take a rider a long way, even when the chips are down.
Gibbs burst out of the blocks setting the fastest qualifying time, but a mistake in SuperPole dropped him to third pick of the grid, before he went on to take two second-place finishes, the first behind Dean Ferris, and the second to Matt Moss, who claimed the day‰Ûªs overall victory.
With his SuperPole point added, Gibbs left Horsham with 65 championship points, equal to Moss.
‰ÛÏI surprised myself to tell you the truth, I didn't think I was actually going to be that competitive," a suprised Gibbs said.
"I‰Ûªm really happy. My starts weren‰Ûªt too bad but I feel like I can get them better, and I wasn't strong for the whole 30 minutes in that first moto. In the second I didn't get through my first couple of laps the cleanest and got passed by a couple of people, but it's all a work in progress.
"There‰Ûªs probably five or six guys that are really on pace at the moment, so I feel like it‰Ûªs going to be a great year. Maybe there were first round jitters for a couple of people, so it worked out better for some than it did for others. I‰Ûªm just happy to come away tied for the lead.‰Û