Factory Yamaha rider commences strong title defence ahead of Gibbs and Evans.
Reigning premier class champion Dean Ferris has kicked off his 2018 Pirelli MX Nationals MX1 title defence with a dominant display in Newry, Victoria, outclassing the field on his way to a perfect 1-1 scorecard aboard his CDR Yamaha Monster Energy YZ450F.
Ferris stood atop the podium in the opening race of the MX1 season, topping Kirk Gibbs (KTM Motocross Racing Team) and first lap leader Kade Mosig (DPH Motorsport Husqvarna).
Ferris and Gibbs went back and forth during the early laps, but it was Ferris who remained composed and eventually stretched an assertive lead, scoring victory by 3.075s.
Mosig followed Gibbs directly across the line in third after withstanding all kinds of pressure from Brett Metcalfe (Penrite Honda Racing), who in turn kept rookie Mitch Evans (Raceline Pirelli KTM) at bay as he completed the top five.
Sixth was a strong finish for another class debutant in Caleb Ward (Davey Motorsports Husqvarna), making his way by Rhys Carter (Complete Parts Kawasaki Racing) late in the moto, with another Kiwi Kayne Lamont (Altherm JCR Yamaha) eighth after he surged out of the gates for the hole-shot before gradually dropping further down the order.
Early troubles caused Luke Clout (KTM Motocross Racing Team) to climb through the order to P9, as Dylan Long (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team) also recovered from a difficult start to round out the top 10.
There was no denying Ferris the race two victory in moto two at the opener, overcoming KTM-mounted privateer Daniel Banks on the opening lap and accelerating away to the perfect scorecard from there. Ferris won by a controlled margin of 7.639s following the 30 minutes plus one lap duration, once again ahead of Gibbs, with Evans third to complete the rostrum.
Fourth was an improved showing for Clout this time around, marginally ahead of Ward on return from GPs, with Long another improved result this afternoon. The top 10 was rounded out by Carter, Mosig, Tierney and Joel Wightman (Ride Red Honda).
A big-name casualty late in the race was Metcalfe, who experienced back-end issues with his CRF450R while running third and was forced out during the final laps.
Overall for the weekend it is Ferris who departs round one with the red plate after scoring a triumphant overall, with the ever-consistent Gibbs runner-up and Evans third in his maiden premier class appearance.
The prestigious MX Nationals will now head to Appin in New South Wales on 29 April for the second stop of the 10-round series, which is set to be hosted over eight weekends.