KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Kirk Gibbs raced to his third Shannons Insurance Manjimup 15,000 title at the picturesque Cosy Creek circuit in Western Australia’s southwest region.
Gibbs, who suffered a heavy crash during the final stages of the knockout-style shootout, lodged a stellar 1-1-1-4 scorecard, although he was evidently hurting following the midday incident.
The South Australian maintained his composure in the trying conditions despite multiple challenges from the highly competitive Allstars class.
Egan Mastin (KTM Motocross Racing Team) impressed in a guest appearance with the factory KTM outfit, earning second overall with a convincing race win to his name in the final moto.
The youthful talent led the opening portion of race two after overcoming Gibbs, however a crash relegated him down the order.
Kyle Webster (Penrite CRF Honda Racing) concluded the podium in front of a home crowd, edging out Luke Styke (KTM Motocross Racing Team) and shootout victor Cody Cooper (Honda), who finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Crankt Protein Honda Racing’s Todd Waters had a day to forget, recording two non-finishes due to mechanical issues, while majority of the international contingent struggled to come to terms with the challenging and demanding circuit.
Shannon’s Insurance Manjimup 15,000 Allstars overall results:
1. Kirk Gibbs
2. Egan Mastin
3. Kyle Webster
4. Luke Styke
5. Cody Cooper
6. Michael Mahon
7. Dean Porter
8. Connor Tierney
9. AJ Catanzaro
10. Julian Cutajar
KTM RACERS REVIEW A RECORD-EQUALLING MANJIUMP 15,000
KTM’s top championship contenders have commented on a highly successful weekend at Australia’s biggest and most spectacular one-off motocross race, the Manjimup 15,000 in Western Australia.
KTM’s Kirk Gibbs won the prestigious annual event, again inscribing his name on the clubhouse’s distinguished honour roll, which reads as a virtual who’s who of Australian motocross history.
In the process, he joined current KTM Factory Racing Team Manager Jay Marmont and Craig Dack as just the third rider in history to win three of the coveted Manjimup 15,000 titles.
On a fast and technically-demanding track lined with spectators, Gibbs throttled his KTM 450 SX-F to victory in the first three of four Manjimup 15,000 races, before ensuring the overall result with a cool and measured fourth in the final, following an awkward fall in the shootouts.
On the back of some hot recent form in the MX Nationals MX2 class on his Davey Motorsport KTM 250 SX, Egan Mastin was given the chance to step up to the Factory Team’s KTM 450 SX-F test bike at Manjimup, and as the saying goes, he rode it like he stole it.
Mastin lead the premier category three times, and then won the final race to hoist himself into second overall at the finish.
KTM Factory Team racer Luke Styke narrowly lost the last step on the podium to Kyle Webster, but was nevertheless pleased with his continued progress as he took two podium finishes in the 15,000, as well as two wins and the runner-up slot behind Cody Cooper in the one-lap shootouts.
Western Australian Regan Duffy was unstoppable in what he describes as his ‘second home', the KTM Junior Racing Team/Mandurah City KTM rider blitzing both the 125 and 250 junior categories with a perfect streak of holeshots and race wins.
– KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “Manjimup always produces the goods. And we had a good trip. The bikes performed well, the riders performed well, and Gibbsy was near flawless all day. He had one little mishap when he fell in the eliminator, and hit his ribs pretty good. So after winning the first three motos in the 15,000, he was a bit sore in the last one and took fourth.
We gave Egan Mastin the opportunity to race our test bike, and to win the last moto on one of the toughest tracks in Australia and finish second in the 15,000 was very impressive.
Stykesy finished fourth too and got a couple of shootout wins. He rode the best I’ve seen him go for a long time.
– KTM 450 SX-F: “It feels so good to win such a really well run, great event. I know it’s only Jay and Craig Dack that have won it three times, so I’m tied in the lead for most wins there. That’s pretty cool, and hopefully I can go back and try to become the winningest rider there.
The track got very rough and demanding as it does, although with the shorter races it sort of came down to who got the start. I wanted to work on my starts and my sprint speed, because that’s where I’ve been lacking throughout the first half of the nationals, and we dialed that in very well on the weekend, even though the young boys rode really well too. They provided plenty of stiff competition on the weekend, and although I won, they were pretty close races. It was good to get the three wins, and that made it a lot easier in the last. I wasn’t really that sore, but, obviously I didn’t want to crash and leave there with an injury, so I held the reins back a little bit. Next stop for me will be to go down to Sydney and do a little bit of testing with the boys.”
– KTM 450 SX-F: “I’m stoked! It couldn’t have gone much better for me. I had a few ups and downs, but it was a good day. It was the biggest crowd I’ve ever ridden in front of, so the atmosphere was awesome. Manjimup is probably the best track we have in Australia so it’s definitely my favourite. It got very rough and it separated the men from the boys, that’s for sure. I only got to ride the bike a couple of times before the event and I loved it - the thing was awesome! In the first I muffed the start and came back to fourth, but in the second I was behind Gibbsy off the start and I got by him and was leading and they red-flagged the race, which I was a bit bummed about, because I got second in the re-start. In the third I was out front and leading, and had a crash when I had a gap, then in the last I got the holeshot and pulled a bit of a lead when the track was definitely at its worst, and… second! It raised my confidence for sure and made me think that I could ride a 450.”
– KTM 250 SX-F: “I love Manjimup; I’ve always loved it. I love the track, it’s probably the best track I’ve ever ridden, and the atmosphere is amazing. It’s my home away from home. I won every race pretty convincingly – pulled a big gap in each one, and in the shootout, got every holeshot and every win. I’m happy with my fitness. I haven’t pulled up sore or anything today, and the suspension on the bike was great, soaking up everything, and it enabled me to power away.”
Media releases-Motoonline and KTM-Jon Pinnell
Image: Jeremy Hammer.