Dean Ferris undefeated at MX Nationals Round 8 – Waters second
Dean Ferris (CDR Yamaha) made Round 8 of the MX Nationals are Port Macquarie another to remember, stamping his dominance across the MX1 field and extending his championship lead.
Strong crowds turned out to watch the fastest riders in the business go to battle at Port Macquarie today, but it was Ferris who left with plenty of reason to celebrate, recording a perfect round of racing as the series reaches the pointy end of the championship.
The Thor MX1 category had at total of 30 minutes on the clock for their practice and qualifying session ahead of racing this morning, and despite being a brand new track for the premier class, it took no time at all for the heavy hitters to settle in.
CDR Yamaha’s Ferris showcased his speed from the get go, but it was on lap five that he set the fastest qualifying time, a 1:45.604, a time that couldn’t be matched during the remainder of the session.
Second fastest on track was KTM’s Luke Styke (1:46.262) followed by team mate Kirk Gibbs who was third quickest with a 1:46.463 hot lap. Behind the top three were Crankt Protein Honda Racing’s Luke Clout and MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe, with all five riders then progressing through to GoPro Superpole.
With GoPro Superpole marking the first points paying event at Port Macquarie, riders were determined to leave nothing on the track during their individual hot laps, but it was CDR Yamaha’s Ferris who snatched up his fifth Superpole win for 2017, as well as three all important championship points.
After collecting yet another GoPro Superpole victory prior to moto one, Ferris took to the line at Port Macquarie with one goal, to leave undefeated.
When gates dropped and riders stormed into the first turn it was DPH Motorsport’s Kade Mosig who snatched up the Raceline holeshot, however in what has become tradition throughout 2017, it was Ferris who was nipping at his heels.
It only took half a lap for the MX1 Championship points leader Ferris to gain control of the moto, moving in to the lead position and relegating Mosig to second. Behind Mosig was MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Nathan Crawford, followed by fellow rookie Honda mounted Clout in fourth.
After only two laps, Ferris had pulled a comfortable three second lead on his competitors, allowing the battle for all further positions to happen behind him. And battle they did, with names such as Todd Waters, Kyle Peters, and Kirk Gibbs just outside the top five, the remaining laps proved to be some of the best of the season.
After eight minutes on the fresh new circuit, Ferris began to separate himself from the field, and simply school the competition. Behind him Mosig, Crawford, Clout and Waters were locked into the fight for remaining top positions, keeping the thousands of spectators on the edge of their seats.
Surprisingly one man who was notably absent from the top five was Brett Metcalfe. After eight laps on the forever changing circuit, the newly drafted Kawasaki rider was back in ninth position after going down at the beginning of the moto.
When the MX1 class reached the halfway mark, rookie Kawasaki rider Crawford put the foot down, registering the fastest lap time which allowed him to close in DPH Motorsport’s Mosig. Another rider who found his form later in the moto was Waters.
The Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team rider made a pass on his team mate Clout to move up to fourth position – just shy of the MX1 podium with a handful of laps remaining.
As moto one reached it’s closing stages there had been little change to positions, however Waters had closed the gap on Crawford and was beginning to pose a threat to the Kawasaki rider with only two laps remaining.
But it was Ferris who collected the chequered flag victorious for the 12th time this season in race one – a task he’s grown accustomed to throughout 2017. Second place in race one went to DPH Motorsport’s Mosig, followed by Crawford who managed to hold off Waters to finish in third.
Waters wrapped up the opening moto in fourth followed by teammate Clout in fifth. Gibbs, Styke, Metcalfe, Peters and Davey Motorsport’s Hamish Harwood completed the top ten.
In the second moto for the Thor MX1 class, Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team’s Clout secured the holeshot, however the attention quickly shifted to the pile up in the first turn with the likes of Mosig and Gibbs just two of the riders caught up in the carnage.
Much like in moto one, Ferris started in second behind the race leader, however after less than a lap the CDR Yamaha rider once again gained control of the moto, moving into the lead and relegating Clout to second.
After two laps, heavy hitters Gibbs, Peters and Mosig were all well outside the top ten, meaning riders needed to capitalise on the time remaining in order to maximise points.
With Ferris out in front and continuing to stretch out his lead, Clout soon began to feel the pressure from his teammate Waters, however Waters also had his hands full thanks to Kawasaki’s Metcalfe who was out for redemption after a difficult first moto.
But it was Waters who managed to find the perfect spot to execute a pass on his teammate, the Queenslander moving in to second position, and leaving Clout to fight off Metcalfe behind him.
As moto two progressed, Metcalfe began putting significant pressure on his rookie competitor, the pair providing plenty of entertainment for the crowd who continued to dot the fence line.
By the halfway mark Ferris was again untouchable out in front, Waters continued to maintain second from Metcalfe who had found his way past Clout. Clout was then pushed down to fourth ahead of Styke, CDR Yamaha’s Dylan Long, Gibbs and Crawford.
As the Thor MX1 class reached the closing stages of their final moto, there had been little change to positions, Ferris maintaining control of the race from Waters and Metcalfe.
And when the chequered flag flew for the final time, it was Ferris who collected an incredible 13th race victory. Second place went to Honda mounted Waters, followed by Metcalfe who held on for the 30 minutes to eventually cross the finish line in third.
Clout and Gibbs finished in fourth and fifth places respectively, followed by Styke, Long, Crawford, Peters, and Mosig who completed the top ten.
With another flawless scorecard to his name, Ferris secured his seventh Thor MX1 round win at Port Macquarie this afternoon, second overall went to Waters, while teammate Clout secured his first MX1 podium with a third at Port Macquarie.
Ferris now holds a commanding 75 point lead in the Thor MX1 Championship with twi rounds remaining.
Dean Ferris – CDR Yamaha – Round 8 Winner
“The feeling of winning doesn’t wear off, it feels just as good every time, I love it, this is what I work for. It’s not just the winning on the weekend, it’s during the week, I’m ticking off my motos and every day I do my best to achieve my goals. I was thankful that I could get some good starts, and be quick in those first couple of laps here. The track today was awesome, and it was nice to have a new venue on the calendar, so hopefully we can come back to Port Macquarie in the future. At the moment I’m just doing my thing and taking it one race at a time. I definitely couldn’t slack off today, and it was awesome to share the podium with Luke (Clout) who got his first MX1 podium, and also Todd who belongs up here.”
Brett Metcalfe – 4th overall
“My riding was good and the MEGA Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F was awesome. In the first moto I had a decent start, but in the third turn I came together with a few guys and went down. I was dead last and I put on a charge, but the track was really one-lined – there were multiple lines, it was just difficult to make passes. I could only get back to eighth, there was a freight train of guys ahead of me, but I couldn’t make much of a better result out of that one. The second moto I got through clean, but I had to do a lot of work on [Luke] Clout, it was just extremely hard to make a pass and I didn’t really have much of an advantage to come up and dive under the inside. Once I finally got by him, I was gone and closed the gap to Todd Waters, we were both pushing and man, I really gave it everything I had – on the last lap I went into a deep rut on the inside and I think the mud hit the shift lever and knocked neutral, so I just laid it down on the ground. It was a good day of riding, the results just weren’t what I wanted.”
Nathan Crawford – 5th overall
“I got another top five result, which was really good, I’m happy with my first moto and happy with my starts today too – I got two good starts. I was third in the first moto and second turn in the last moto I was going for a pass that would’ve put me into third, but I washed the front. I was playing catch up from the get go and could only get back to eighth, it gave me fifth overall. Again, we’re really knocking on the door of a podium and I was only a few points off it today, but yeah, moving onto Toowoomba in Queensland, hopefully we can get it done there.”
Kirk Gibbs – 7th overall
“That’s just how it goes, we knew looking at the track yesterday it was pretty tight, pretty juniorish – it was going to be one of those tracks where you’d struggle if you didn’t get good starts. First start we got a little bit of wheel spin and I was trying to make places up but crashed trying to get around Kyle Peters and lost a lot of ground. I charged through to the back of Clouty and I couldn’t find anywhere to get around him. I was frustrated with that, but I got a good jump in the second. Then Mosig crashed just to the side of me, but as he crashed, his bike sort of flicked out and I had nowhere to go but into it. I played catch-up from there. I rode really well, so I’m not disappointed with the way I’m riding. We’re going to try a few different things between now and Toowoomba and hopefully that can help. I know I can go for those wins if I get the starts. I’m looking forward to the hills of Toowoomba, and I feel like I can do well there, once I iron out those starts. That’s where I got my first moto win in 2013.”
Luke Styke – 8th overall
“Obviously the start of the day was pretty good for us with second in SuperPole. I had a really good gate pick so I started next to the box where I thought the start was going to come, but I got pushed off the track and I was like 15th place coming around the third turn. I had an uphill battle. Obviously Port Macquarie is pretty one-linish, but it felt like I just exerted so much energy to get nowhere. In the second start I came around about second or third, but I didn’t really have the feel that I had in the first race and a few guys got past. I couldn’t get the good flow on, I was a bit tight or conservative maybe. We made a few changes in the last few weeks that are definitely benefitting me, I’ve just got to keep grinding and it will eventually happen.”
Thor MX1 Round 8 Results
1) Dean Ferris – 70 points – Yamaha
2) Todd Waters – 60 points – Honda
3) Luke Clout – 54 points – Honda
4) Brett Metcalfe – 53 points – Kawasaki
5) Nathan Crawford – 53 points – Kawasaki
6) Kade Mosig – 53 points – Yamaha
7) Kirk Gibbs – 51 points – KTM
8) Luke Styke – 49 points – KTM
9) Kyle Peters – 44 points – Suzuki
10) Dylan Long – 43 points – Yamaha
Thor MX1 Championship Standings
1) Dean Ferris – 562 points – Yamaha
2) Kirk Gibbs – 487 points – KTM
3) Kade Mosig – 436 points – Yamaha
4) Todd Waters – 421 points – Honda
5) Luke Styke – 408 points – KTM
6) Luke Clout – 378 points – Honda
7) Kyle Peters – 371 points – Suzuki
8) Brett Metcalfe – 350 points – Kawasaki
9) Nathan Crawford – 304 points – Kawasaki
10) Joel Green – 267 points – KTM