News 25 Jan 2010

Oz Off-Road: Ferris surprises with Deep Well Race victory

Ferris and DERT won the Deep Well Race last weekend.

Ferris and DERT won the Deep Well Race last weekend.

Dean Ferris, supported by Desert Edge Race Team (DERT) has taken out the trophy for the Deep Well Race in Alice Springs in the toughest of outback conditions.

The event, which is generally considered to be a lead up to the Finke Desert Race, delivered 40 degree weather and some of the country’s best competitors including KTM mounted Ben Grabham and Brad Williscroft.

Ferris put the field on notice after a dominating holeshot and first moto win. Moto 2 saw Grabham get out front early setting a fast pace, with the 19-year-old Ferris managing to close in for a clean second place in heavily dusty conditions.

Overall honours were decided on the last race with Grabham taking the holeshot, followed by fellow Honda mounted Caleb Auricht. Ferris battled through very rough, high speed desert conditions, clocking lap times of around 8 minutes on the 9.5 km track.

The New South Wales based DERT rider came out in front and settled into a very fast smooth pace, building a 20 second gap before cruising out the final lap for the victory. Grabham finished second with a fast closing Auricht in third.

“I have never seen nor ridden in anything like it,” Ferris said. “To win is unbelievable. I didn’t know what to expect before I showed up and had only heard about the conditions. I didn’t know how I’d go against Grabham and all the locals.” The track was gnarly like a motocross circuit except you’re going so much faster and there are no bits where you can sit down at all. The first moto went to plan, but the heat in the second moto went up to about 45 degrees so I had to settle for second. In the third race, I went bananas and passed everyone in the first couple minutes.

“It was a great experience. I had 100% trust in the DERT guys and they set me up an awesome bike for the conditions. I’m here in Alice now for a bit longer to do a pre-run on the Finke Desert Trace track with the team.”

The Deep Well Motocross has been going strong for 33 years, with the red sand, huge dunes and oppressive heat making for a truly unique event.

Motorex KTM Off-Road teammates Grabham and Williscroft rounded out the podium, using the event as a training run before the major events commence.

“I entered Deep Well as more of a training exercise than anything else, so I’m really happy to come away with second on the podium,” said Grabham. “We rode the all new 2010 model KTM 450 SX-F, stock standard out of the crate, and it was really impressive. Deep Well is probably one of the fastest race tracks in Australia, and this bike showed it was easily capable of winning. I won the second race of the three, and got second to Dean Ferris in the other two races.

“I’m undertaking an intense training regime now, where every day I’m in contact with my trainer, and working on technique to handle all conditions thrown at me. The goal is to increase my fitness, and also work on technique that will have minimum impact on my body after racing. At Deep Well my trainer had me strip down out of my gear between races, and jump into a wheelie bin full of iced water to reduce my temperature, and alleviate my muscles. It worked because 24 hours after the race I’m not sore at all.”

Williscroft was also impressed with the new 450 SX-F in his first run on the 2010 model.

“Deep Well was the first time I had ever ridden the 2010 model KTM 450 SX-F, and I was really impressed,” said Williscroft. “Deep Well is a tough event and the bike easily withstood the conditions, and maintained the speed required to podium. In my first race, I got an average start, and was in about fourth. I moved up to third halfway through the race, and slowly got on the back of my team mate Ben Grabham who was in second, by race end, I finished a few seconds behind him for third.

“The dust had thickened by the second moto, and I was challenged to see through it. I had a battle with Caleb Aurich for third, but then I made a mistake, and he passed me, so I ended up finishing fourth, and did the same in the final race, which gave me third overall for the event. It was a great event to clear the cobwebs and also work on technique, and race fitness for Finke.”