The KTM Motocross Racing Team has announced that 23-year-old American Kyle Peters will stand in for injured Kirk Gibbs in the premier class of this year's Australian Supercross championship.
Australian Motocross Vice Champion Gibbs broke his femur in a training incident just a week ago, ruling him out of his intended representation in the Australian MXoN team, and his part in this year’s Australian Supercross Championship, which begins at Jimboomba, Queensland on September 17.
Peters, who had arrived early in the country late last month to take up guest rides in the last two rounds of the MX Nationals, jumped at the chance to fill in on the KTM factory team, and has transitioned smoothly onto the KTM 450 SX-F.
Sunshine Coast teenager Jesse Dobson finds himself again super-subbing for the team’s Luke Styke, who has completed his recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon, but has only recently begun track training and is not yet prepared for the rigours of Supercross.
Dobson shot to national prominence in a guest ride on the KTM squad this time in 2014, exceeding all expectations when, as a 17-year-old, he bagged a top five finish in the premier class of the national championship.
Kyle Blunden, KTM Motocross Racing Team Manager – “We’ve had a few days of testing at the track with him and everything has gone brilliantly. He is looking unreal, for somebody who hasn’t ridden our bike before and has just come off riding motocross, he looks very comfortable. He is quite a small guy himself, so we’ve had to basically try and shorten everything up and make it fit him a little bit more and it’s been interesting. We are lucky that he has had experience with the chassis setup very similar to ours before, so he gave us a good indication as to what he likes and how he likes it.
“Jesse has moved down to the Newcastle area and he is riding around there, so we are testing with him today. It’s exciting! After the week we had last week it could have been easy to stay down in the dumps but now we are already optimistic about what the next championship holds for us. The future is what we make it and we’ve got the right people around us to be able to put a good package together for all three of our guys.”
Kyle Peters (KTM 450 SX-F) – “I’m beyond stoked to be on a team like this with this kind of structure, and capability. It’s an awesome opportunity for me and it’s going to be a good experience and a great season. I’ve ridden Supercross the past five years in the States, and ridden the Australian series here in 2014. I finished seventh in West Coast points for the Lites. The bike is just unreal, I had a Husky back home for a little while and it was pretty similar, but as far as the motor and suspension and chassis and how it all works, this is a million times better and it’s a fantastic bike.
“I’m stoked to be riding it. My goal for the Supercross season is just to be on the box every weekend, and if I can get a championship out of that, that’s the ultimate goal, but mainly just keep progressing week by week and I think it’ll be a good season for sure. I love it in Australia, I stayed on the Gold Coast for awhile, and now I’m close to Melbourne. Everything’s been awesome, there are so many people out here that are super friendly and awesome people so it’s been a great time.”
Jesse Dobson (KTM 450 SX-F) – “Pretty happy to be racing Supercross for KTM again. Last time I raced Supercross with the team that was my first time, and I feel like we had good success. We build every round and I ended up fifth in the championship, so I feel that I’ve got that year under my belt, and I’m back with a great team, we have the tools and there is no reason why I can’t be right up the front. You can’t win it a championship at first round but if we just keep building, I’ve got a bit of a game plan and I’m feeling comfortable. I just can’t wait to get racing; the atmosphere and the style of the racing and the tracks, I feel like it suits me and I look forward to Supercross all year. So I can’t wait.”