The KTM Motocross Racing Team enjoyed a positive fifth round of the 2018 MX Nationals in South Australia this weekend, as Kirk Gibbs secured second overall in the premier class while teammates Luke Clout and Egan Mastin earned fantastic individual moto results.
It was a strong start to the day for Gibbs and Clout in MX1, the pair going 1-3 in Super Pole as they laid down some of the fastest times in the field. The duo were able to translate their early pace into strong finishes during moto one, with Clout hole-shotting the outing and leading two-thirds of the 30-minute plus one lap affair before capturing an inspired second.
Gibbs maintained pressure on the lead group and, although a goggle issue hampered his vision, it wasn’t enough to demote the former champion, as a last lap pass granted him the final spot inside the first three aboard the KTM 450 SX-F.
In race two, Gibbs slotted into third before a little mistake relegated him to outside the top five, however he recovered with the support of a home crowd on-hand, blitzing his way back into third for second overall.
It was an unfortunate start for Clout, who went down in turn one, although that didn’t dampen his spirits as he pushed on for seventh, lodging him fourth overall for the round and just one point shy of the podium.
Mastin displayed his championship-winning form in MX2 riding the KTM 250 SX-F as he checked out in the opening moto, crossing the line with a commanding nine-second advantage to credit him his first race victory of the season.
In a turn of events, the number one would get caught up in the start of race two, forcing him to come from dead last and ultimately negotiate his way to 11th, resulting in fifth overall for the weekend.
The next stop on the MX Nationals calendar is scheduled for 1 July at Conondale in Queensland, while Gibbs and Mastin will represent the KTM Motocross Racing Team at the prestigious Manjimup 15,000 in Western Australia on 3 July.
Jay Marmont – KTM Motocross Racing Team Manager: “The day started off really well with Kirk securing Super Pole and then our first motos today were unreal. Luke hole-shotted the first race and led for the first 20 minutes and ended up second, as Gibbs recovered from a gogglemalfunction for third. Egan was new guy when he came out today, winning the first race by a convincing nine seconds. Unfortunately he got caught up in the first turn in race two. Gibbs was second on the day, so that was a good result for him, while Clout just missed out on the podium after a more difficult second outing. Now we head into the mid-season break knowing what we need to continue to work on and we look forward to the second half of the season.”
Kirk Gibbs – KTM 450 SX-F: “I started with Super Pole today, which was good, and in the opening race I came out of the turn in fourth or fifth, made some passes and slotted into third. I copped a lot of roost getting there and I ended up having some goggle issues, so I was forced to pull them off. I got nailed pretty hard after that and it was pretty much survival mode. Second moto we were third again, so while it was good to get back on the box with a pair of thirds, but it’s frustrating because I felt like I had great speed today and wasn’t able to capitalise on it.”
Luke Clout – KTM 450 SX-F: “It was a good day for me, I got third in Super Pole and I finally pulled a hole-shot in race one and rode my own race from there. I led my share of the race from the front, but unfortunately I let that one slip away toward the end. It’s good to be leading laps though, I’ll take a lot from that and learn from the experience. The second race I put it down onthe start and had to work my way back up the order, so it was an up and down day. I was fourth for the round and I’m fourth in the championship, so I can’t complain and now we will keep working hard to prepare for the coming rounds.”
Egan Mastin – KTM 250 SX-F: “It felt awesome to get the race one win, the team and I have put in so much work, so to go out and ride like that, it’s really rewarding. It’s been a rough start to the season – and it happened last year – but I feel like I’m going to keep ticking wins off now. I’ve got the best team behind me and my KTM 250 SX-F felt great out there. Unfortunately I got caught up in the first turn during the second moto and ended up working my way back to 11th, which was disappointing, although it was still a positive round.”
2018 MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship
Round Five Results:
1. Dean Ferris (Yamaha) 67
2. Kirk Gibbs (KTM) 60
3. Kade Mosig (Husqvarna) 57
4. Luke Clout (KTM) 56
5. Brett Metcalfe (Honda) 53
1. Wilson Todd (Yamaha) 62
2. Hamish Harwood (KTM) 60
3. Jy Roberts (Husqvarna) 59
4. Kyle Webster (Honda) 58
5. Egan Mastin (KTM) 55
Championship Standings (After 5 of 10 Rounds):
1. Dean Ferris 352
2. Kirk Gibbs 283
3. Mitch Evans 275
4. Luke Clout 272
5. Kade Mosig 258
1. Wilson Todd 300
2. Hamish Harwood 269
3. Egan Mastin 261
4. Aaron Tanti 257
5. Kyle Webster 246