Australian motocross export, Dean Ferris, has claimed his first ever MX2 podium at the launch to the 2013 MX World championship series held under flood lights at the Losail circuit in Qatar.
Racing for the same Dixon Monster Energy team as late countryman Andrew McFarlane, Ferris become the second Australian to achieve an MX2 podium and now trails reigning world champ, Jeffrey Herlings, by 12 points as the newest surprise challenger for the MX2 title.
Qatar marked the first race for Ferris in almost one year and his comeback from shoulder surgery in 2012 saw the Aussie get into race mode right from the get go.
Qualifying in a solid 6th position Ferris went one better in Moto 1 with a 5th place after closing down fellow Yamaha racer Christophe Charlier and French young gun Romain Febvre with a podium spot in sight.
The new Super-Final format combing the best 20 MX2 and 20 MX1 racers from from their respective moto 1 results would see Ferris not only battle his MX2 counterparts but also the more power 450 machines of the MX1 class. Having a slight inside advantage Dean grabbed a good start and put his head down on the opening laps. He hunted down Frenchman Febvre to move into second place in the MX2 classifications behind Herlings. Ferris also battled with MX1 protagonists, Goncalves,Philippaerts and Boog on the stronger 450 machines and then brought his Yamaha 250F home in 13th spot but as second MX2 rider.
“Obviously it’s good to be on the podium and the season could not have started in a better way. In the first moto I got a decent start and I really pushed to stay with the front group but I couldn’t do it. In between motos we spoke with the team and we agreed to change gearing to try and improved the set-up and it worked. I’m sure my lap-times were better in the Superfinal and I didn’t have to push the limit. I was second and there was not much more I could do so I just brought it home. I didn’t think too much about the Superfinal before we came here but I’m glad we got in the gate before the 450’s so they couldn’t close us down too much at the start. I’ve raced quite a bit of supercross in Australia so the lights were OK for me. The hardest thing was trying to see areas of traction in the dirt but the lighting was good. I hope when I get a bit more comfortable I can try to get closer to Jeffrey’s speed but the goal right now is to get on the podium every weekend. I was excited out there, battling all those 450s and I’m well aware that Andrew was the last Aussie rider up here and he also did it with Steve (Dixon, Team Manager) so that was nice. I think the Yamaha is definitely the best bike I have ridden for any team that I’ve represented. The guys put in a lot of work to make it the best and that gives me a lot of confidence.”
Ferris has little time to rest on his laurels as he heads directly to Thailand for round 2 of the 18 round series under hot and humid conditions which should play to the Australian’s advantage next weekend.
MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:51.449; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:31.544; 3. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:32.888; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +0:44.961; 5. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +0:59.726; 6. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:03.051; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:11.094; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), +1:12.485; 9. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), +1:17.280; 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:28.001; 11
Super Final top 10: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 39:55.020; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:07.472; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:09.834; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:11.515; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:11.809; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:16.592; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:25.914; 8. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:39.408; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:44.527; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Honda), +0:53.888; 13. Dean Ferris (Aus, Yamaha)
MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), 38 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 33 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 30 p.; 7. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 26 p.; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), 25 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), 24 p.; 10. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 21 p