Last year was a challenging season for young BC rider Tyler Gibbs. With the Covid-19 restrictions and the Triple Crown Series taking place in the east, simply getting to the races was a feat in itself. However, Tyler stuck with it and little by little he improved as the summer went on and by the time the SXTour came around at Gopher Dunes, he was ready to battle for race wins in the 250 class. With the experiences of 2021 under his belt and the TLD/GASGAS/SSR Team now behind him, Tyler is looking forward to a successful 2022 Triple Crown Series. Tyler was also able to spend a good portion of the off-season down south at ClubMX so with the opening round at Kamloops coming up fast, he is fit and ready to go. We caught up with Tyler as he was getting in some much-needed gate drops on Sunday at the Auburn Hills AMO Racing event.
MXP: Hey Tyler, how are things going?
TG: Things are going really well. This weekend we were out at Auburn Hills doing some racing and testing before Round 1 in Kamloops. The Auburn Hills track was pretty cool and a lot of fun to ride.
For 2022, you’ve signed with the TLD/GASGAS/SSR Team to race in the 250 class. First off, congratulations as signing with one of the top teams is pretty cool. So far how has everything been and what has been the biggest adjustment for you?
Thank you! So far everything has been great with the bike and the team and right now we’re fine-tuning everything. For me, the biggest change has just been learning how to deal with all of the assets that come with being on a team like this. Before this year all I ever had was a few parts and maybe a few different sets of suspension that I could try. Now I have different motors, ECU’s, linkages, triple clamps, and multiple sets of suspension to try. So it’s been challenging trying to learn how to test all of these different parts and figure out what works for me and what doesn’t.
I can see how that would be a challenge when it’s all brand new to you. But so far you’ve been able to figure it all out?
It’s coming along and each time we go testing I get more comfortable. On Monday we’re stuck around the Auburn Hills track and did some suspension with Steve Beattie so that was great.
You spent a lot of the off-season down at ClubMX in South Carolina. How was that experience?
It was good and honestly, it was exactly what I needed at this point in my career. It’s tough down there as there is a lot of fast riders training and every day you’re doing motos and gym work and just constantly competing. Every time you hit the track you’re either doing motos with a group of riders or you’re up against a stopwatch. There’s no place to hide and no room for bad days. It was tough but in racing, you’re going to have to push through bad days and still get results so I know I’m now a better rider and better athlete because of the work I did at ClubMX.
It most certainly sounds like training at ClubMX is good for the body and for the soul. Okay, you’re back in Ontario now and on the weekend you competed at Auburn Hills. Overall, how did that race go for you?
It went good for sure The track was fun but it was really fast so I would’ve liked to have gotten better starts. I had to battle from behind in each moto and on that track it was tough to make up time. But it was a good warm-up race and it was fun to get back to racing again. And then like I said we tested Monday with Steve Beattie on a really rough track so that was great!
That does sound like a great weekend of preparation. The opening round of the 2022 Triple Crown Series is fast approaching. Round 1 is pretty much in your backyard, how pumped are you to be racing the first round of the series at Whispering Pines Raceway?
I cannot wait to race in Kamloops in a few weeks. I love that track and I think it’s going to be great for the opening round. I’m flying out west a week before the opening round so I’ll be able to get home for a few days and get used to the time change. I think the Whispering Pines track is going to be really tough for the opening round and if the weather gets hot then it’s going to be even tougher.
For sure, I remember back in 2017 I think it was really hot! You’re coming off a decent summer last year where you had some pretty solid rides. What did you learn from 2021 that you’re bringing into this year?
I think I just need to keep working on being consistent and having better finishes on my bad days. Last year I struggled at certain times and ended up having some really bad motos. If I can limit my mistakes and be consistent then I think it’s going to be a great season. I’ve put in the work and I have a great team behind me so really it’s just up to me to go and perform.
That sounds like a great plan. After all, you’re still young and still learning so you’re going to make mistakes. They just cannot be big mistakes! What is the plan from now until you fly out west?
Right now I’m leaving near Shelburne, ON at Steve’s house so that has been great. The plan is to just keep working and testing and get everything dialed in. The weather has been great for riding here so yeah we’ll just keep working away. The opening round is coming up fast!
Yes, before we know it we’ll all be in Kamloops to kick off what is going to be an incredible series. Thank you for doing this Tyler! Good luck this season, we hope it’s a safe and successful one.