News 17 Aug 2010

World MX: Ferris races Belgian national, set for GP return

Australia's Dean Ferris in action during a round of the Belgian championship last weekend.

Australia's Dean Ferris in action during a round of the Belgian championship last weekend.

Australia’s Dean Ferris contested the fourth round of the Belgian Motocross Championship on Sunday at Keiheuvel, preparing for the Lierop round of the Motocross World Championship in a few weeks time.

A highside crash in qualifying put Ferris in 26th place on the grid, but with a field of over 50 international riders the young Australian was not deterred and looked forward to the two 30-minute races.

In the opening moto Ferris got a decent jump out the gate and raced around lap one in a solid 13th position. By the mid way point the Queenslander was in 12th position and holding comfortably onto the back of World Motocross regular Tanel Leok as the two Honda riders posted consistent lap times.

With six laps remaining the clutch cable snapped, leaving Ferris battling in the tight and rutted turns, causing him to stall the engine twice in the closing laps. At the end of the moto Ferris eventually crossed the line in 16th position.

In the second moto Ferris was boxed in on the start and then heading into turn one was hit by another rider, sending him to the ground hard. After re-mounting, Ferris was out of contention for any result and used the moto for valuable practice and experience in the tough conditions. Ferris clawed his way through to 20th position at the finish flag.

“I loved it today. I just had to smile when I was out there in that second moto, the track was the gnarliest track I have ever ridden,” Ferris said. “The bike was literally bottoming out over the bumps! The highlight of my weekend was chasing Leok in the first moto, I felt comfortable and was surprised that physically I didn’t feel more tired pushing the pace.

“In the coming weeks my plan is to just keep practicing on the sand tracks and working on pace and technique ahead of Lierop. If all goes to plan I should be able to test the Martin Honda race bike in the week before the Lierop GP, so hopefully we can find some good settings ahead of the race.”

The Belgian round was won by Suzuki’s dual world champion Steve Ramon, with defending world champion Antonio Cairoli taking eighth.

Ferris recently claimed third as a privateer in the Pro Open class of the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals as a privateer, also set to represent Team Australia in the Motocross of Nations in the United States next month.