News 10 Apr 2017

Ferris expects tougher challenge from Tonkov to come

Premier class champion on former teammate's 2017 progression.

Image: Jeremy Hammer.

Defending Motul MX Nationals MX1 champion Dean Ferris expects Russian import Aleksandr Tonkov to climb his way up the leader-board as his rookie Australian season continues.

Despite minimal preparation time, the MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team rider logged a 10th-place overall finish at Wonthaggi’s season-opener in his first MX Nationals appearance.

As former teammates at Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing on the world motocross circuit in 2015, CDR Yamaha’s Ferris is aware of Tonkov’s work ethic and confirms that the MX1 newcomer has what it takes to move to the front of the pack this season.

“If he’s going to make his way to the front, he’s going to do it this year,” Ferris told “The guy has a lot of speed and a lot of talent. I rode with him a lot in Europe being teammates and on an MX2 bike he was one of the fastest guys in the field. Speed isn’t an issue and he worked hard when I was teammates with him. I expect him to do the same here, so if it’s going to happen he’ll make it happen this year.”

Riding his factory-supported KX450F just once prior to round one, Tonkov looks forward to testing with the Troy Carroll-managed team to ensure improved results at the upcoming rounds. He’d ridden less than a handful of times prior to round one.

“It was great to come back racing, to be on the start-gate and to feel the emotions,” Tonkov said. “We will start testing now because this was only my second time on the bike, since when I arrived it started raining in Queensland and I wasn’t able to test. We have plenty of time to work and from this point it should get better, for sure.”

Tonkov currently sits 33 points behind Ferris in the MX1 championship with nine rounds remaining on the schedule. Round two of the series is set to take place on 23 April at Appin in New South Wales.