KTM Motocross Racing Team rider and 2015 MX Nationals Champion Kirk Gibbs has fallen agonisingly short in his bid to win the MX Nationals series for a second successive year.
As he’s done all year Gibbs gave it everything he could on the day, but was beaten to the round win by Todd Waters and Dean Ferris.
Gibbs entered the round with a six-point lead in the championship, and after posting 4-3 finishes for third on the day, the incredible consistency of his ninth podium finish in ten rounds still wasn’t enough to defend the title, with Ferris taking the championship by just six points; 666 to 660.
It’s been another incredibly impressive year for the Queensland-based South Australian, who was overlooked slightly in the pre-series hype before what was expected to be, and turned out 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, and despite injuries and setbacks he scored nine podiums, two race wins and three round wins, and held the red plate for longer than any other rider.
Gibbs’ team mate Jesse Dobson sat out the round as he recovers from injuries suffered during a fall in the previous round of the series in Toowoomba.
Kyle Blunden, KTM Motocross Racing Team Manager – “It’s tough to put into words when you are part of a team that gives their all and comes up just that little bit short. All the boys have done a fantastic job all year long. The riders put in a phenomenal effort and unfortunately we didn’t get there. All in all the boys got some ripper starts – Kirk got to holeshots and Caleb got one, so we definitely executed there. They both put in everything they had, they left the track absolutely spent, and you can’t ask for much more than that. Unfortunately today it just wasn’t enough; the other guys just rode solid races. Unfortunately someone had to come second and today, it was us. But that doesn’t make it any easier, that’s for sure.”
Kirk Gibbs (KTM 450 SX-F) – “Obviously I didn’t want it to end that way but Dean and Todd probably rode a little bit better than I did today. So, it is what it is and I’m really happy with how the year went. I was on the podium nine times out of ten, and it is unusual for that not to win you the championship, but then, everyone thought Dean and Todd were going to walk away with it this year, so it’s good that we were still fighting over the title until the last race. Obviously there can only be one winner at the end of the year, but still it’s hard with how much effort everybody’s put in. We would have loved to get the championship, and it was frustrating to have led this long and come up just short, but I think everyone realises that we put our heart and soul into it, we just weren’t good enough this year. But we’ll keep fighting, and we’ll come back next year.”
In MX2 racing, KTM Motocross Racing Team rider Caleb Ward has finished second in the championship after his 2-3 results earned him third place in the series final behind Jed Beaton and Wilson Todd. Ward has been one of the standout performers of the series, the KTM250SX-F rider winning four rounds and nine races this year. Davey Motorsports rider Jayden Rykers wrapped up a fantastic rookie season in the category with a 3-3 result in the deep sand, enough for fourth on the day and in the series.
If there was an ironman of the day, fellow Davey Motorsports rider Hamish Harwood would take it, finishing with a sixth in MX2, to add to the sixth place he scored in MX1!
Caleb Ward (KTM 250 SX-F) – “It’s pretty disappointing, I obviously wanted to win this year. But Jed rode like a champ today, obviously I kept him on his toes in the first one, I caught him a bit at the end but I couldn’t get it done. In the second I got the holeshot, but I made a bad line choice and he made an early pass on me. Then I fell and went back to third and got caught up with sand in my gloves which made it a bit slippery to hold on. I didn’t want to do anything too crazy and hurt myself. Second in the championship isn’t too bad but obviously I would have liked to have one. I had a bit of bad luck early in the championship at Broadford with some things that were out of mine and the team’s control, and I’ve made a few mistakes along the way myself. It’s a bit of a mix of feelings but overall second isn’t too bad. We’ll learn from it, move on and not dwell on it too much, and look forward to bigger and better things.”
Jayden Rykers (KTM 250 SX) – “I am a little bit disappointed that we didn’t podium today, but looking back at how the season’s gone so far, it’s been a pretty good year. For the level of competition, I’m pretty happy to walk away with fourth in the first year in the class. It basically came down to the start in the last Moto and I nearly tipped it over in the second corner, so I had to play a little bit of catch up and started reeling Wardy in, and was within a wheel length of his back tyre on the last lap, so that kept us off the podium. But I can’t complain; 3-4, just another consistent day, and all in all a pretty good year. Being able to race with those top guys and battle them, particularly in my first year, was great.”
In the MXD class, KTM Newcastle’s Cooper Pozniak broke through for his first race win of the championship when he led the field home in race one. His fifth place in race to gave him a well-deserved second on the day – his third of the championship – but it wasn’t the best KTM result today, that honour going to Raceline Pirelli KTM’s Wade Kirkland.
Kirkland’s 4-1 tally earned him the round victory ahead of Pozniak and Kaleb Barham, and very nearly saw him regain third in the championship.
Cooper Pozniak (KTM 250 SX-F) – “It was a good day, I won the first Moto is a really topped off the end to my series. It was great to get my first win in the last round. I managed to get third overall in the championship and second overall on the day, so I was super pumped with that. It was crazy, I’d never ridden anything that rough before. Everyone said I would have struggled because I’m much smaller than everyone else, but I actually really liked the track and felt awesome out there.”