Gary Gibson got the ultimate last-minute call for team Ireland after Graeme Irwin broke his wrist at the final GP just three days before the team was due to fly out!
Gibson answered the call, dropped his own commitments and got on the plane, riding Irwin’s bike that had already been shipped out and showed some very impressive speed on his new steed.
Gibson got a brilliant 14th on Saturday in the MXGP class and looked fast all weekend, a couple of crashes hindered his scores on Sunday but the speed was certainly there and Gibson didn’t look out-of-place in the elite company.
We caught up with Gary to get his thoughts on a whirlwind seven days and once-in-a-lifetime experience.
This has been a bit of a mad seven days for you! Getting the call on Sunday night, riding Graeme’s bike and riding it very well, can you sum up your week?
Basically I got the call on Sunday night, packed my tools up on Monday got the flight on Monday (home from England), got my medical on Tuesday and flew out to America on Wednesday! If it wasn’t for Roger and Graeme giving me this opportunity on the Hitachi ASA KTM, I don’t think I would have been able to get a Kawasaki sorted in time, so to get everything sorted was good.
I came out with no expectations, I just wanted to get on the bike and get used to it, and at least just try and get a result and who would have thought it we qualified straight into the main event and came away with 14th overall.
On Saturday you were really good, you had some good lap times comparable to good names, it didn’t seeming to take you long to adapt to the bike, you were right there straight away!
That’s a good point, Graeme is a great rider and he had the bike set up well, I just had to make a few adjustments to suit myself and make me comfortable. The bike, it’s a fast bike and it handles well, I had some good guys around me this weekend spannering for me so I’m not surprised they gave me a good package. I’m surprised with result on Saturday, I think my start let me down in the first race today then the second race I got a good start but crashed a couple of times.
As far as an experience, you got to race Windham, be part of what might be the biggest MX of Nations ever, how was it from that side of things?
For me it was a lifetime achievement, for me, my dad, my mum to get this chance and be in a position where we could make this happen, even to be a reserve I was chuffed to bits. And to come out here and experience this with my mum and dad it was absolutely awesome. To ride round and hear the fans, the results are the last thing you are thinking about you just want to embrace it all really.