After 10 years of blood, sweat and tears on the professional circuit, CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris finally broke through for his maiden national motocross championship, taking the win in the premier MX1 division at the MX Nationals after a spine chilling final round was conducted over the weekend.
National glory has been a long, hard slog for the 26 year old Kyogle based rider, who has seen his career take many dips and swings as he chased his dream around the world but on Sunday afternoon after a gripping final moto that had the big crowd in attendance on their feet, Ferris rolled his YZ450F across the finish line with fist in the air to take the prestigious 2016 MX1 MX Nationals championship.
Ferris entered the final round of the championship six points behind leader Kirk Gibbs but he was desperate to make every post a winner in a weekend that was full of drama. He narrowed the gap to three points after posting the fastest qualifying lap and winning the Superpole event and the championship fight was well and truly on with two 30 minute races around the grueling Coolum Pines track.
Moto one saw Ferris leap to an early and looked to take control of the race but just a few laps into the event, Ferris received a 10 second penalty for going too fast through a caution flag on the circuit and now the race wasn’t just on against his rivals, it was also against the clock as the added 10 seconds dropped him back to fourth on the time sheets.
Once notified of the penalty, Ferris really got to work and tried to put as much distance between himself and the chasing pack as possible. He went to not only win the race on track, but also on the time sheets as he had cleared out to an 18 second lead and stamp his authority on the moto. Race two and all three championship combatants charged into the first turn together. The next 20 minutes saw Ferris, Waters and Gibbs all jostle for position and size each other up before the pace really got cracking in the final 10 minutes. For Ferris, the equation was simple. Either beat Kirk Gibbs or stay directly behind him and the championship was his. As the moto wound down, it was Waters that dropped the hammer and moved his way to the front. Ferris then followed and moved into second place and that put the championship out of reach for his rivals. Ferris stayed out of trouble during the final few laps after putting some breathing space between himself and Gibbs, the championship trophy was headed back to the CDR Yamaha truck. “It’s been a long, hard road for me to achieve this and I have worked every day of my life to win this championship,” says an emotional Ferris. “The sacrifices my family, girlfriend and people around me take to win the MX Nationals all seem worthwhile now and this is no doubt the highlight of my career. “Thank you to the amazing people at Yamaha and especially CDR Yamaha. When Craig and I discussed this deal late last year, I promised him a championship and he promised me the best equipment and team in the pits and we both delivered so that is extremely satisfying. This is the best bike I have ridden in my career and thank you to my mechanic Aiden, Brad, Gary and Mike for the effort and energy they put in. I love working with the team. “I also want to thank everyone in the Kyogle community who support me. It’s a small region but the entire town get behind me and encourage me and I appreciate their support. Guy Andrews has also been a huge part of my program and working with him over the past four years has really shaped my career so he has played a huge part in my success so too have my personal sponsors, Blue Dolphin and SCOTT.” The championship took on many twists and turns in 2016 as three longtime rivals in Ferris, Waters and Gibbs all battled right to the death. Ferris points to the Wanneroo round and a spectacular crash that left him down but not out as a turning point in his championship and the way he thought about his racing and rivals. “After that crash in the final race at Wanneroo in round five, I was able to take some time to sort some things out, think about the way I race and make the changes I thought were necessary to be a smarter rider. Since that round, I have finished in the top two every race and have now gone onto win the championship,” Ferris explains. “Racing with Todd and Kirk has also been unreal and I congratulate both of them. We are all the same age and have raced together for years and at the start of the year, it would be the three of us standing on the podium at the end, we just need the 10 rounds to work out the order. They are good guys and they push me to be a better rider.” It was this new found maturity in Dean that impressed CDR Yamaha Team Manager Craig Dack as he and his team celebrated another MX National championship win. “This year, we have seen Dean grow as a person as well as a rider. He has learnt to roll with the punches but still take his profession seriously and do what is needed to improve both on and off the track. As a whole, this years’ championship kept throwing challenges at Dean and at the team but together we kept working away at them and overcoming them so to see Dean get the job done in the final moto was a rewarding feeling for everyone at CDR.
“As always, there are a huge amount of people that are behind the scenes that contribute to the success of CDR Yamaha. Yamaha Motor Australia continue to support CDR and have done so for nearly 25 years providing us with the best production bikes and parts and we are proud to be the racing face of Yamaha in Australia. Fox and everyone at Monza Imports plus a heap more of our team sponsors continue to step up and support our goals and I thank them for it.
“Congratulations to Dean and his mechanic Aiden on a job well done and we will enjoy this one for a few days before we are back into it preparing for the Australian Supercross Championship starting in September,” Dack ends