5 minutes with Kirk Gibbs after claiming his maiden Australian MX1 Championship
Congratulations Kirk, pretty stoked for you. Do you get to keep the gold boot?’
‘Thanks, I’m pretty pumped and yes I get to keep the boot. (Laughs) It’s pretty cool.’
So what is next for you?
‘In about 10-11 days I head off to compete at Glen Helen, then come straight back for Supercross’.
What is your expectation for Supercross?
‘I would love to win, but I may be a little unprepared due to racing more MX but the new bike will be heaps better for Supercross.’
So how does this feel compared to your first win?
‘Wins come and go, but winning this championship – you have to be there for the 10 rounds. We’ve done that this year, and I am so pumped.’
How hard was it to ride in the last moto (having won the Championship in the 1st moto)?
‘It wasn’t hard. I was keen to do well and finish on a high. I went into the first turn 3rd but the sun got in my eyes and I turned the wrong way. When I could finally see, I was heading into the berm. It sent me bucking and I lost a few places. I got back up to 5th then had a laydown, lost a heap of positions, then made it back to 5th. The team told me to cruise around, but I laid it down again. The moral – Don’t ride slow!’
So how has the response been from your home town – Mount Gambier?
‘It has been really overwhelming. Obviously everyone has been texting and ringing, and I am trying to get back to them all.’
How are your Mum and Dad?
Oh they’re pretty stoked. They got a little tipsy last night, and played up. I am really happy for them. This has been a long time coming. It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since I started as a Senior and we were driving around like all Privateers in our Hiace van, with nothing. Now look where what we have achieved. We just kept working hard. I can’t thank them enough’
How important has KTM Team Manager and fellow South Aussie, Rob Twyerold’s influence been?
It has been massive. I didn’t have great results when I raced in the lites, and then when I had my injury the year after but he took a chance on me, and I truly appreciate that. He was a racer too, so his experience helps heaps, and he is always there to help with guidance. Yep, his influence has been very very big.
Who would you like to thank?
Obviously the KTM Team, and I mean everyone involved in that team. Rob T, my mechanic and friend Kyle Blunden - he works harder than anyone knows, and makes my job so much easier. Same with Danny Apro. What they do makes my part easy. All the team mechanics, Gaz the truck Driver, Stykesy - We have had a lot of fun this year. Also to my Parents, my Girlfriend and all those who have supported me. Some I don’t talk with often, but they’re always behind me.
Good luck Kirk in the US and again Congratulations on becoming our first Open Champion since about 1970!
Photo Credit- Fullnoise.com.au, MX Nationals, mcnews.com.au