Despite a tough weekend at round eight of the championship last week at Moree where Clout finished ninth in the only moto contested, Clout now sits just two points behind championship leader, Todd Waters and this weekend at Coolum looms a balls to the wall, winner take all shoot-out as three riders enter the weekend separated by 14 points.
Clout left Moree frustrated as he fell in the opening moto as the field left the first turn and by the time he regathered himself and his bike, he was a distant last and desperate for points. He toiled away during the 15 lap event and managed to climb his way back to ninth place but surrendered valuable to his championship rivals.
“The weekend didn’t go the way I wanted it to, and I was just too impatient on the opening lap,” Clout laments. “I had a reasonable start and tried to get to the front in the first couple of turns but I ended up locking bars with other riders and going down.
“I was a silly thing to do and the team had spoken to me over the last few rounds about minimising the mistakes and keeping myself in contention in every race. I felt I let them down a little on the weekend.
“My motivation is high, and I am determined to make up for it at Coolum. I have won championships there in the past, the bike and team are awesome, and I am fitter than I have ever been. Its not over and I plan on coming out swinging from lap one and won’t stop until it’s over,” Clout said.
The Moree event proved to be a good one for team mate, Kirk Gibbs, who finished second on the day in another strong performance. Gibbs lead the majority of the 15 lap race only to battle arm pump later in the race and fall into the clutches of Todd Waters, by made his move with just a few laps to go.
Still, it was a promising performance from Gibbs and continues his good form his has shown in recent rounds. Had he not missed a round in South Australia due to a shoulder injury, Gibbs would make it a four way battle for the championship lead.
“I’m a little disappointed not to get the race win as you never want to lead for that long and not actually get the W,” Gibbs begins. “By the mid-way point I could feel my arms getting tight and I tried to stay as loose and relaxed as possible but when the final last few laps came up and the sprint speed was back on, I just couldn’t be at my best.
“But on the podium is good and I feel like I’m riding well, so there are a lot of positives to take from the weekend. The bike and team did a great job and we are now focused on a huge weekend at Coolum this weekend where we have the double header final round that will be tough on everyone,” Gibbs states.
Rounds nine and ten fire into life this weekend at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast with action getting under way at 8am each day.