Australian Dean Ferris has done it again.
Fresh from winning the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville on debut there last weekend, the 25-year-old from Kyogle in New South Wales, has now made it two major Kiwi successes in a row after winning the opening round of four in this season’s New Zealand Motocross Championships at Pleasant Point, near Timaru, on Sunday.
Just as was the case a week earlier at Woodville, the first time Ferris had even laid eyes on the course at Timaru was when he arrived at the venue for Sunday’s championship opener.
And once again it didn’t make a difference to the outcome, Ferris taking his Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ450F to a stunning hat-trick of wins and completely dominating the glamour MX1 class on Sunday.
Runner-up was defending national MX1 champion Cody Cooper, the Honda rider from Mount Maunganui finishing with a 2-3-2 score-card, and another Australian import, MC2 Suzuki Racing team rider Todd Waters, completed the podium with a 3-2-3 score-line.
This gives Ferris an 11-point buffer as the riders now prepare for round two at the Flipp’s track at Himatangi, near Palmerston North, on February 28.
“This was a great track and prepped very well,” said Ferris afterwards. “I really like ruts,” he smiled.
“I had been having problems with my starts at Woodville and we worked on that during the week. I holeshot every race today.
“I put in a good couple of laps early on and, by the time Cooper had fought through the traffic, I was gone.
“There is a lot of work still to be done and we’ll just keep testing and working hard ahead of the next round.”
The MX2 (250cc) class was a savage affair, with little to separate Reporoa’s Hadleigh Knight (Workshop Graphics Husqvarna) from now-Waitakere-based Takaka rider Hamish Harwood (MCL Racing KTM) at the top and a gaggle of very fast riders hot on their heels.
In the end, 18-year-old Australian visitor Jed Beaton (Valley Fresh Yamaha) won the final race of the day but Harwood finishing runner-up and Knight finishing seventh was enough to decide the class in Harwood’s favour.
The MX2 podium wound up with Harwood on top, Knight second and Beaton third.
The 125cc class was almost a Ben Broad benefit, the 17-year-old KTM rider from Ngatea posting a 1-1-2 score-card to overshadow Karaka’s Kurtis Lilly (Workshop Graphics Husqvarna) and Taupo’s Wyatt Chase (Total Oil Yamaha).
After round two in the Manawatu, round three follows at the Rotorua Motorcycle Club’s track on March 13. The championship trophies get handed out at the Taupo finale on March 20.
Leading championship standings after the first of four rounds of the New Zealand Motocross Championships near Timaru on Sunday:
MX1 class: 1. Dean Ferris (Australia, Yamaha); 2. Cody Cooper (Mount Maunganui, Honda); 3. Todd Waters (Australia, Suzuki); 4. Scott Columb (Queenstown, Kawasaki); 5. Hamish Harwood (Takaka, KTM).
MX2 class: 1. Hamish Harwood (Takaka, KTM); 2. Hadleigh Knight (Reporoa, Husqvarna); 3. Jed Beaton (Australia, Yamaha); 4. Kayne Lamont (Mangakino, Yamaha); 5. Micah McGoldrick (Rangiora, Honda).
125cc class: 1. Ben Broad (Ngatea, KTM); 2. Kurtis Lilly (Karaka, Husqvarna); 3. Wyatt Chase (Taupo, Yamaha); 4. Tony Cvitanovich (Feilding, KTM); 5. Reece Lister (Kotemaori, KTM).
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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