Missed Opportunity | COVID-19 to Keep Tyler Gibbs Away from Final Rounds of Supercross

By Billy Rainford

Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada

Thanks a lot, coronavirus! Young, up-and-coming British Columbia racer, Tyler Gibbs, has shown an affinity for the indoor motocross discipline. Coming from the Lower Mainland of BC, he grew up on a healthy diet of Future West Moto Arenacross.

He’s a new Pro rider and lined up for Monster Energy AMA Supercross earlier this season out in Sand Diego, missing the 250 Main by 3 spots.

When the revised COVID-19 schedule came out that the final 7 rounds would be held at the same venue in Salt Lake City, Utah, Tyler and his family were happy to see that they would be able to race the final rounds of the 250 West with reduced travel costs.

Unfortunately, although the revised schedule would have made the final rounds much easier to race, the border restrictions will leave Tyler home unable to cross into the USA.

Tyler Gibbs won’t be able to cross the border to race the remaining SX rounds in Salt Lake City. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hey, Tyler. For starters, can you take us through how your first Supercross experiences went this past year?

Tyler Gibbs: Man, my first SX was pretty crazy. Morning practice was good, a little muddy but it was so cool to be out there. First timed qualifier did not go so well. On the second lap I grenaded my transmission in the whoops, so we went back to the pits to try and figure out what to do.

We had limited time between qualifying practice and had to pull the motor out of my practice and pull the motor out of my race bike and install the practice motor in the race bike in an hour-and-a-half. So my dad (Paul Gibbs), Urky (Kevin Urqhart), Jamie Grant and Justin all worked their butts off and got me out for the second qualifier.

I just made the night show with a little bit of luck.

The night show was so much fun. My heat race was OK and my lap times kept getting better every time I was on the track. I had to go to the LCQ and missed the main by 3 positions.

I am definitely hooked on SX and can’t wait to do more of it. 

What did you get up to after that?

When I got back I did some snowboarding with my buddies and just took a little bit of time off the bike. 

At what point did you realize you had to get back to Canada?

I planned to stay in California for a couple months, but as soon as I got there COVID-19 got really bad and stuff was starting to close, so I ended up staying for a week then it got really bad so I went back home. 

What have you been doing out there this spring?

I’ve been trying to ride as much as possible, but it’s hard with tracks not being open on their normal schedule. 

I heard you had a bit of a border experience of our own, even before all this virus stuff? Would you sum it up?

That’s a story for another time. 

And so you guys were planning on doing the final rounds of 250 West SX in Salt Lake City, right? That tight schedule would have actually been pretty good for you guys.

Yes, I was going to race Salt Lake City and finish the final rounds out. But with Covid-19 can’t cross the boarder and race. And it would be a good schedule because they where pretty much all back-to-back weekends. 

So now we’re all waiting to see what can be salvaged with our Canadian series this summer. What are your plans as the schedule stands now?

My plans are to race this summer if it happens, so I guess time will tell. 

I know you really like Supercross, so is that what you’ll shoot for in 2021?

Yeah, Supercross is so fun and the goal is to race the whole west coast Supercross for 2021.

Well, it’s too bad we won’t have you to cheer for in SLC. Good luck with whatever comes this summer. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

Yeah, my mom and dad, Holeshot Motorsports, Yamaha Canada, FXR, Lime Nine, Forma Boots, RMR Suspension, Guts Seats, Bell Canada, Matrix, 100% goggles, Migration Unlimited, DT1 filters, C4MX, MD Distribution, Mobius Braces.