Team leader and 2015 Australian Champion Kirk Gibbs will take no part in this year‰Ûªs New Zealand Championship, having been back on the bike for just a month after recovering from a broken femur suffered during training for the MX Des Nations in the week after last year‰Ûªs MX Nationals finale.
A famously determined trainer, Gibbs has been hard at work both in the gym and at numerous tracks in Victoria, where he has based himself at present to prepare in some fresh stomping grounds.
"I‰Ûªm pretty close to 100% now," Gibbs said. "The leg feels really good on the bike and we‰Ûªre happy with where we‰Ûªre at. It‰Ûªs been good to ride different tracks after riding the ones in Queensland for 8 or 9 years and it‰Ûªs been good riding with Jed Beaton ‰ÛÒ he‰Ûªs going really good so it‰Ûªs good for me to chase him.
"The KTM Conondale Cup will be my first race back since the injury, and hopefully we‰Ûªll squeeze in a couple more before the season starts.
"It‰Ûªs always hard to say where you'll be at any given time with a recovery, and only time will tell, but things are going pretty well on the bike and I‰Ûªm riding even more than I was last year. If everything goes to plan I‰Ûªll be in the right state of mind of and body when it matters. Every day I‰Ûªm getting stronger and more confident in my riding.
Jay Marmont, KTM Motocross Racing Team Manager, addded. ‰ÛÏAfter almost a year out of racing Luke is still finding his rhythm. He was getting good starts and staying on the bike, but we‰Ûªre just missing the seat time component. As an ex-rider who raced with some of these guys just four or five months ago, I‰Ûªve been in that situation where everything is working during the week but not on race day, and when you aren‰Ûªt quite there it seems worse than it really is.
"Kirk is back on the bike and going exceptionally well. It wouldn‰Ûªt have been smart for us to take him to New Zealand at this point; our best bet is to get him into some races over the next few months and hopefully have him where he needs to be in time for nationals.
At this stage his first race will probably be the KTM Conondale Cup on March 5."
Main Photo: Luke Styke at the NZ Motocross titles
Credit: Simon Makker