The KTM Motocross Racing Team is gearing up to kick-off its 2018 MX Nationals campaign this weekend at the Maffra circuit in Newry, Victoria, which is set to host the season-opening round.
Team riders Kirk Gibbs, Luke Clout and Egan Mastin have demonstrated positive form throughout the pre-season, indicating preparations are well on-track for a successful 10-round season ahead.
Former premier class champion Gibbs, who just wrapped up the New Zealand MX Nationals crown, is looking to add another Australian title to his and KTM’s credit, embarking on his sixth season aboard the highly-capable KTM 450 SX-F. The number five is feeling as confident as ever, exiting one of the best pre-seasons he has had to date.
New South Welshman Clout enters his first campaign with the outfit, and with one year under his belt in the MX1 category, the youthful talent is a favourite to be contending for podiums and race wins alongside Gibbs, week in, week out. Contesting a host of local events in the lead-up to this weekend, Clout is happy with his speed and fitness ahead of the Victorian round.
Reigning champion Mastin will spearhead the squad’s MX2 effort, which will see the number one plate grace his KTM 250 SX-F. The New South Welshman has been working tirelessly through the off-season, resulting in a confident and focused attitude as he prepares to successfully defend the title.
Jay Marmont – KTM Motocross Racing Team manager: “I feel what we’ve come up with this year, the way the boys are, and this year being my second year with the team, I just feel like we’re really prepared to go racing and all the riders are fit and healthy. Not only that, I think they’ve got more confidence than what they’ve ever had entering a season – for all three of them, I believe they’re in an excellent position. The boys are really keen to go and are really looking forward to it.”
Kirk Gibbs – KTM 450 SX-F: “It’s definitely vital to start the season off well, the depth of the field is really good at the moment, but in saying that, I’m coming off the championship win in New Zealand – I’m feeling so much more confident in myself and the bike, there’s just much more going for me than what we had against us last year. I’m definitely not short of confidence coming into the first round, I’m definitely in the right place – when you feel good and the mind is right, things should be reasonably good. This is the best I’ve felt since 2015.”
Luke Clout – KTM 450 SX-F: “I think it’s going to be a really good year, we’ve started off with some really good testing and made some good progress in the pre-season. We’re just working on things like my riding, but it’s definitely the best I’ve ever felt in terms of riding and my set-up – I think that’s leading to a good year. I think I know where my speed is going to be, I’m pretty confident in where my speed and fitness is, so I think it’s just going to be about consistently putting the 450 SX-F on the podium and winning some races.”
Egan Mastin – KTM 250 SX-F: “I’m feeling good, I’ve had a good pre-season leading up to this weekend. I’m confident and I’m loving being a part of the team – it’s been pretty good and we’re sitting in a good spot heading into the first round. I’m not going to go out there and try to lay everything on the line straight away, but for sure, I want to go out there go for a win – it’s all about getting solid points at the first few rounds.”
The team will be competing at Round 1 of the MX Nationals in Newry, Victoria this weekend.