Features 9 May 2023

Debrief: 2023 ProMX Rd4 Maitland

Overall winners Ferris and Budd recall fourth round in New South Wales.

Brisbane Motorcycles Yamaha rider Dean Ferris clawed his way back into the lead of the MX1 standings at Maitland’s fourth round of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship, taking a commanding 1-1-1 overall victory. Meanwhile, in MX2 it was Serco Yamaha’s Rhys Budd who proved to be the most consistent on the day, with 3-2 moto scores earning him his first career overall win in the category. MotoOnline caught up with both riders after the races for this Debrief interview. 


Image: Foremost Media.

First of all, congratulations on the win. All three moto wins for you. How’d that feel?

Yeah it was ideal, especially after having a DNF at Wodonga, it was just great to be able to capitalise on all three motos, I’m really happy about it. I thought the format was great, just to get three motos throughout the weekend, heaps of riding. The track was pretty good, I felt like we had three different conditions for three different races, which was also challenging in its own way. All in all, the bike was good, the body was good, and everyone at Yamaha was stoked with the results.

You touched on the format there. Obviously, you’ve got a fair amount of experience racing two-day events with your MXGP experience, was that format something you’re in favour of?

I’m kind of neutral about the idea, really. One-day formats, I think are enough for Australia, if you wanted to do one, or maybe two like this for the season, I think it’s definitely okay. I know it brings the budget down for everyone to travel there, and you get more races. So, I can kind of see the benefit of that, but I also never thought there was anything wrong with the one-day format, so yeah, either or. I’m happy with both really.

Coming into Maitland, you were down 17 points on Jed Beaton. Was there ever a time when you thought you could leave here with the points lead?

It wasn’t really something I’d considered at that point. Obviously, by the end of Saturday’s moto, that’s where I gained the most points, so I thought maybe if Sunday went really well I could have the points lead. But honestly, it was just one thought and I never thought about it again, I just focused on the motos. Saturday went really well, but I made sure I kept my feet on the ground and I’m glad I did, cause the CDR guys woke up on Sunday with a bit of extra pace and it was a really challenging day. So, I definitely had to pull on some knowledge to get the job done on Sunday.

You leave here with a nine-point advantage now, that’s a 26-point swing. What’s the mindset heading into the second half of the season?

Just try to keep doing what I’m doing and put myself in good positions. You can never get too comfortable, even if the points gap blew out and I had a huge one, you can just never get complacent, cause as we saw in supercross on the weekend, anything can happen. You just have to make sure you’re always thinking and using your brain.


Image: Foremost Media.

Rhys, congratulations on your first overall! Take us through it.

It’s just a truly amazing day, it’s so special for me. We had super tricky conditions on the track all day like it was completely different from moto one to moto two. My Serco Yamaha got off to two pretty good starts and I just did my thing, I just did my laps and rode smart. About halfway through moto two, I obviously knew I was on the box no matter what, I had a weird feeling that I could get the overall, but I just wasn’t sure so. Honestly, the last couple of laps I was a little bit nervous, few mistakes were made. The track was super greasy, but I crossed the line, still gave a fist pump cause I knew I was going to be on the box. I got into the podium area and had a drink and stuff and was still unsure, then I had my brothers come over and tell me I got the job done. So, from there a big smile, gave them guys a hug, my mum and dad and my girlfriend, everyone that was there. Once that happened, shed a few tears that’s for sure, the emotion took over for a little bit. The first overall win of my professional career, and to do it here at Maitland, not too far from my home in Sydney where I grew up, I had a lot of family that made the trip up, I couldn’t be any happier with how the day went.

It hasn’t been a great start to the season for both you or the Serco Yamaha team. We saw Gavin Eales with a big smile on his face, how does it feel to turn things around here?

It’s awesome to see him with a big smile on his face, he’s the man behind the scenes that does all the hard work. So, to reward him with an overall win and even myself and Jesse going 1-2 in that last moto, I think he’s pretty chuffed with that one. It’s cool to make him proud and give him results that he deserves. He puts a lot of work into us and knows what we’re capable of, so to be able to produce these results is truly awesome. We’ll enjoy this one tonight and over the next couple of days, but once it’s time, we have to switch it over and get back to work, the championship’s not over. I’ve made a good stride in the points this weekend, I moved up to fourth and not too far behind the podium, so I just have to keep clocking off my laps and doing what I’m doing during the week and bring it to the weekends. So yeah, I’ll cherish this one and enjoy the moment, cause it’s super cool. The fans were awesome today, signed a lot of signatures and stuff like that, so I’m just very honoured to be in the position I am in right now.