News 30 Jan 2018

Domestic challenge the sole focus of Ferris this pre-season

Two-time MX Nationals champion opts out of NZ program for 2018.

Image: Andy McGechan (BikesportNZ).

Dominant Australian champion Dean Ferris will forgo a pre-season in New Zealand ahead of the 2018 MX Nationals, opting to remain home in preparation to defend his title for a third-straight MX1 crown.

The CDR Yamaha rider has traditionally travelled across the Tasman to join JCR Yamaha at the Woodville Grand Prix and NZ national championship, finishing second in the series to Kiwi king Cody Cooper for the past two seasons.

Ferris – whose first child was born last August prior to the Coolum finals – was untouchable in last year’s MX Nationals locally, winning nine of 10 rounds before going on to finish third in the Australian Supercross Championship. This year he will set his focus firmly on attempting the championship double at home aboard the factory-backed YZ450F, which was a decision made in accordance with CDR.

“I’ve done New Zealand the last two years in a row, which means I’d been training non-stop for 24 months and I felt like I really needed a break after this last season,” Ferris told “It was a long one and, while it was great, I felt like a bit of a freshen up would be good at that stage.

“The plan is to do the Sunny States as my pre-season races and I still feel like I can build through those, with a lot less effort than flying to New Zealand. My trainer Guy [Andrews] and I have laid down a plan, so we felt like we needed this time to build into the season and I’ve been really, really busy since Christmas training for the year ahead.”

With the absence of Ferris, the JCR Yamaha team led by longtime grand prix contender and former Australian champion Josh Coppins will field New Zealand talent Kayne Lamont – winner of last weekend’s Woodville event – in MX1, as well as Australia’s Jay Wilson in MX2 and Maximus Purvis in the 125cc category.