CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team's star rider, Dean Ferris, continued his outstanding start to the 2018 motocross season by taking another dominant victory at round two of the MX Nationals, held in perfect conditions over the weekend.
The Appin track was at its best with a challenging layout, well prepared dirt and a good size crowd on hand to witness the Australia's best motocross riders do battle.
Ferris, who has been the benchmark for Australian racing for the past two seasons, again set the bar high with an impressive performance that saw him dominate both races contested in the premier MX1 division and extend his lead in the championship.
The day didn't start out as he had planned, missing the top five fastest qualifying times and therefore not able to compete in the Raceline Superpole event and the handy three points on offer. But, the ship was soon righted in moto one as the gates fell and Ferris powered his Yamaha YZ450F into the lead and set off at a brisk pace. His rivals kept him in sight but a relentless and determined Ferris kept his head down and went on to take the race win by 16 seconds.
Moto two didn't go drama free as the race needed to be stopped when a rider fell and required urgent attention. Once the track was clear, the field was re-gridded in the running order with Ferris at the front of the pack and the remaining 20 minutes of racing was completed. Ferris was the first rider across the finish line and claimed the race win when times of both parts of the race were added together.
Ferris has now won all four motos contested at the opening two rounds and already holds a commanding lead in the champion but the two-time champ understands there is plenty of work to be done and a long way to go in the 10-round championship.
"Another good day for myself and the team," Ferris opens. "Appin has always been good to me and since my return to Australia in 2016, I have won here so I always enjoy racing this track.
"Missing the Superpole event was a bit odd and it's the first time I can remember not being in it. I felt I was riding pretty good in practice and qualifying but when the team told me I was sixth, I was a bit stunned.
"Thankfully, it didn't matter once the races started and I was able to win both races and keep my good start to the championship on track. My YZ450F was working well today and the team do an amazing job of making my life easy. Aiden, who works on my bike, puts in the hours and we make a great team so thankyou to him and everyone at CDR Yamaha Monster Energy team.
Teammate, Dylan Long, made huge strides forward in his racing today and finished in fourth place in an incredible return to form for the Victorian based rider. By his own admission, the opening round was terrible for Long and his results weren't what is expected of a racer with his talent and ability.
But, to his credit, he worked hard over the two-week gap between events, hit the Appin track with determination and raced with aggression and speed.
Long finished with a fourth in moto one and then a third in moto two to pile on 58 points and finish equal third for the day with Luke Clout but fourth on a countback where the final moto breaks the tiebreaker. Still, it was an impressive performance by Long and one that he is more than capable of replicating at the coming rounds.
"Today was a little more like me and the way I ride. The opening round was just awful and there was no way to hid from it. I went home with my tail between my legs and made sure I did the work for this weekend and went to the start line confident that I was prepared.
"My goal is to get on the podium so I was a bit short of that but I feel much better within myself about the way I raced and my ability. The plan now is to build from this and try an improve a little at each round," Long explains.
Long now sits fourth in the championship.
There is now a two-week break in racing before the championship picks up at rounds three and four in a first for the MX Nationals where a double header, race weekend occurs in a massive event. The black loam of Wonthaggi in Victoria plays host to the event and the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team will be looking for more success in their home state round.
MX NationalsRound Two Results – MX11st Dean Ferris – 70 (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team)2nd Kirk Gibbs- 603rd Luke Clout - 584th Dylan Long – 58 (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team)5th Brett Metcalfe – 566th Caleb Ward – 487th Rhys Carter – 488th Kade Mosig – 489th Connor Tierney – 4310th
Championship Standings – After Round Two1st Dean Ferris - 140 (Yamaha YZ450F)2nd Kirk Gibbs – 1273rd Luke Clout – 1084th Dylan Long – 104 (Yamaha YZ450F)5th Mitch Evans -1036th Kade Mosig – 1017th Caleb Ward – 998th Rhys Carter – 969th Brett Metcalfe – 8910th Connor Tierney – 85 (Yamaha YZ450F)