Motocross

Trio Of Australian Factory KTM Riders Head To Woodville GP

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The Australian KTM Motocross Racing Team's sharp new 2015 squad is about to kick its season off at one of New Zealand's biggest motocross events, the Woodville GP.

The KTM Motocross Racing Team traditionally contests the annual Woodville GP and the four-round New Zealand Motocross Championships as competitive preparation for the Australian MX Nationals which begin on March 29 at Horsham in Victoria.

The 2015 team features Australian motocross Vice Champion Kirk Gibbs, entering his third year in orange, alongside brand-new teammate Luke Styke, the 2013 MX2 Champion who is stepping up to the MX1 class for the first time.

Gibbs is feeling upbeat and positive after coming out of his first off-season without injury in five years, and hopes Woodville is the first step on the road to his goal of an MX Nationals title in 2015.

‰ÛÏAs soon as I finished the two Queensland Supercross races at the end of last year, I gave the bike back, and said I don‰Ûªt want to look at it until after Christmas." Gibbs admitted. "It was late in the first week in January when I got my bike, so I've only been on it for two weeks, but I feel pretty good on the bike already.

"For me, Woodville reminds me of Conondale without grass, it's a real natural terrain track, a little bit up and down hill.

"Normally it's been a tough gig for me in the last couple of years, because I've always been coming back from injury, and I'm sure it‰Ûªs going to be tough again this year, because I believe there‰Ûªs a lot of good riders coming. I haven't been back on the bike for very long, but I'm in a much better position than I have been in the past.
Luke Styke will have his first race with the KTM racing team this weekend in New Zealand - Credit: Freerider images
Styke has completed a long off-season of training and bike development, and will use Woodville as the acid test for his 2015 base setting.

‰ÛÏThese last couple of weeks have been good with our development of the handling of the bike. I'm going to take my new setup to New Zealand and give that a good test under race conditions, I've also been doing a little of testing with the horsepower of the 450 and trying to get that exactly the way I want it." Styke said. "But I think everything is on track, I‰Ûªve been getting all my training in but we‰Ûªre only early days.

"New Zealand is only preparation for the Australian series, so I don‰Ûªt want to put everything on the table just yet. I‰Ûªm really keen to get the ball rolling and spend more time with the team under race conditions and try to kick the season off with a high.

"Rob‰Ûªs told me they are really good tracks, prepped well, with a lot of hills and that there‰Ûªs a good atmosphere there.‰Û
Caleb Ward has swapped his two stroke for his four-stroke for 2015 and is ready to get into some more racing action in NZ - Credit: Aaryn MInerds
The team will also be joined by factory-backed MX2 racer Caleb Ward, the young North Queenslander who dominated three rounds of last year's 250 championship. Ward has switched to four-stroke power this year, and will contest the national championship aboard a KTM 250 SX-F.

‰ÛÏI've never been to Woodville before, but it's supposed to be a bit of natural terrain - and normally that's more my style of track, so hopefully it suits me pretty good." Ward commented. "It will be good pre-season prep for Australia just to see where I'm at speed-wise and what I need to work on. It will be a good start up for the year.

"I've had a bit of ride time on the four-stroke now and I've been having heaps of fun on it. It‰Ûªs a lot better through ruts and skatey stuff and the power is smoother and easier to control so it gets more traction, it‰Ûªs awesome."

Top Image: Kirk Gibbs has only just returned to riding after taking a break over the Christmas period.

Credit: Supplied (KTM Australia)

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