Clean-sweep puts him back in charge of MX1 with two rounds remaining.
The dominant form of Dean Ferris at Toowoomba on Sunday marked a vast turnaround from Gillman, as the Brisbane Motorcycles Yamaha rider made a timely self-improvement that led to a pivotal return to winning ways, which saw him reclaim the MX1 red plate.
After showing blistering pace throughout the opening races this year – winning multiple motos in addition to the Maitland overall – the 7-9 results of Ferris in South Australia saw him relinquish the points-lead to fellow former world championship regular Jed Beaton.
Entering Echo Valley, Ferris trailed Beaton by a single point in the standings, but made it clear that he had managed to turn things around between rounds with a commanding moto one victory that saw him lead every lap on his way to a 14.507s victory ahead of his primary title-rival.
Three-time MX1 champion Ferris later made it a clean-sweep with another win in moto two, overcoming an early position swap with defending champion Aaron Tanti (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) to take the chequered flag with a 15.471s advantage, importantly building a seven-point advantage over Beaton with just two rounds remaining. It was notably Beaton who filled the Honda Racing seat that Ferris had vacated for 2023 after spending a single term in red.
“It’s not like I went home and turned everything upside down,” Ferris told MotoOnline. “I just had to look deep inside myself, just ask myself some questions that I wouldn’t normally. So, I did that, improved the bike as well, but mostly myself. I was at Gillman and I was like, ‘this sucks and that sucks’, and I was just being a cranky old man, but I was like, ‘you know what, that’s not me, I’m going to go to Toowoomba, put a smile on my face… I don’t care how things are or what the conditions are, I’m just going to run with it, own it and do the best I can’. I showed up today and I did that.”
The 111 has underlined that he is still a force to be reckoned with since emerging from a second-career short-lived retirement at the end of last season to reunite with Yamaha this season, a decision he has not regretted even on that defining day at Gillman.
“There were times in Europe where I was like, ‘far out, I don’t know if I want to be doing this’, but nah, all of this year has been so fun,” Ferris added. “Only Gillman wasn’t a good day, it was a shocker, but apart from that, I’ve been having a lot of fun and it was never a question – of course I was going to keep doing it.
“Just being part of this little crew that I’ve put together and riding the Yamaha, I’m loving it. So no, it was more just like, ‘hey man, am I the guy that makes excuses or am I the guy that rocks up and just makes it happen no matter what?’. That was the question that I had to ask myself.”