Interviews 23 Oct 2012

Catching Up: Dean Ferris

Simon Makker catches up with Australia's latest European export to reflect on his rookie GP campaign.

Australia’s latest European export, Dean Ferris, had one hell of a rollercoaster ride in 2012. After chalking a 10th in his second-ever grand prix in Italy, then qualifying fifth in Brazil, the ICE1RACING Kawasaki rider crashed at St Jean D’Angely and sat the rest of the year out with a shoulder reconstruction. Ferris got back behind the grips for his first real ride back yesterday, so we gave him a buzz to see what’s up.

Aussie Dean Ferris will remain in the Motocross World Championship for 2013, but the team or class is yet to be announced.

Great to hear you’re back in the saddle, mate. Take us through your injury and what happened?

I had a first turn crash at the French GP at Saint Jean D’Angely and dislocated my shoulder. Originally I was going to tough it out for the rest of the season, but after a week the team and I decided to get it fixed instead of trying to race half-hearted.

If I waited until the end of the year I wouldn’t be ready for the start of the 2013 season, which is starting earlier than normal. So yeah, I opted to get a full shoulder reconstruction in Belgium. The surgeons said I’d make a full recovery, but it’d be four months before I could ride, then another couple to get on my game again.

The past four months have involved rehab every day, stretches and exercise. The diet is hard to stick to at the start as you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Riding motivates me, so when I have to sit on a couch for lengthy times the motivation does wane.

Why did you decide to stay in Belgium instead of coming home and surrounding yourself with your friends and family?

The doctors are good in Australia, don’t get me wrong, but they’re just as good in Belgium. I was in no rush; Belgium is my home for now and I was able to travel to a few GP rounds and scope them out for next year. It was a huge help and it was really interesting to get a different perspective of everyone’s qualifying tactics and race strategies from the side of the track.

I also had a bit of a holiday in Europe. My mum is Swedish, so I caught up with extended family there and caught a round of the Speedway World Championship. I tried to make the most of the situation.

Fair enough mate. What has your rehab consisted of?

In the past two months since I got home I’ve done a lot of cycling and base training. It’s not hard on the shoulder, but I can do six hours of cycling and put in the hard yards I can’t really focus on when I’m racing. Chris Urquhart from MotoDevelopment is training me and assessing me every week.

Until yesterday I’d only ridden an hour or so, and had been focusing on building an outdoors track. Yesterday Jay Wilson and Jake Vella came out, so I spent a couple hours with them playriding on some huge new jumps. I hit them straight up, so I know I’ve still got my confidence.

A lot of people are wondering what you’re doing next year. Are you still going to be in Europe?

Yeah, I’ll be racing the GPs again. I only had a year-long contract with ICE1RACING and we’ve parted ways. It’s a shame after having such a good start to the championship and proving I can run the pace of DeSalle and Evgeny Bobryshev, but that’s the way it goes.

I actually accepted a new deal on Monday but I can’t say who it’s with before a proper press release comes out.

Ferris in action at home last year when he was based in Australia. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

Oh really? Any hints?

Man, you know I can’t say anything! I’m really excited and I can say it’s a great opportunity with one of the best bikes in the class, and it’s a move that will surprise a lot of people. I’ll remain based in Belgium, and my goals are to remain injury-free and to ride to my potential in 2013.

Well, now that you’re back riding, is there any chance we’ll see you race a round or two of the Terex Australian Supercross Championship this year?

Nah, I’m going to give it a miss. It was my original plan to do a couple, but I’ve only got four months before the first round of the GPs at Qatar, so I’ve got to buckle down and get ready for that. If everything goes to plan I’m keen to race the supercross next year, though.

So you’ll hit the world championships next year. What are your long-term goals?

I’m aiming to stay in Europe for, say, three years, then if the opportunity presents itself, I’d love to go to the States and race the AMA. That’s my long-term plan; I’m only 22, so I’ve got plenty of time. Once I’m satisfied with what I’ve achieved in motocross I’d love to get into enduros and rally/desert racing. I love that shit. I want to be the universal rider and have a crack at everything.

Sounds good, bud. Thanks for the chat, and all the best for the continued recovery.

Thanks mate, speak soon!

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