Australia's Dean Ferris captured his first-ever FIM Motocross World Championship podium finish with second overall at the opening event of the series in Qatar.
Australia’s Dean Ferris captured his first-ever FIM Motocross World Championship podium finish with second overall at the opening event of the series in Qatar.
Ferris, of the Monster Energy Yamaha team, became the first Australian to pick up silverware since Andrew McFarlane did the same from within the confines of Steve Dixon’s Yamaha squad in 2005.
Ferris excelled on debut for the Yamaha squad, enjoying two good starts which led to a fifth place MX2 moto finish and second position place MX2 Super Final finish on the jumpy and rough course.
“Obviously it’s good to be on the podium and the season could not have started in a better way,” said Ferris. “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 Super Final 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 Super Final before we came here but I’m glad we got in the gate before the 450s so they couldn’t close us down too much at the start.”
Ferris felt comfortable with the unique Qatar event being run under lights, with years of night racing experience under his belt from the Australian supercross tour.
“I’ve raced quite a bit of supercross in Australia so the lights were ok for me,” Ferris explained. “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 [Herlings] speed but the goal right now is to get on the podium every weekend.”
Ferris enjoyed battling it out with the MX1 riders in the Super Final and feels good to be the first rider in this position since McFarlane represented Australia on the world stage.
“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, so that was nice,” he added. “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 finished up second behind defending MX2 world champion Jeffrey Herlings of the Red Bull KTM team, round two of the series will take place in Thailand this weekend on 10 March.