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Ferris Still On Track For The Kiwi Title Win


15 Mar 2016

Fortunes can change quickly in the frenzied sport of motocross, but Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider Dean Ferris remains unruffled despite a frustrating afternoon of racing near Rotorua on Sunday.

For Australian visitor Ferris, his debut New Zealand Motocross Championships campaign this season has been a remarkable one.

Even as a first-timer at each of the Kiwi tracks he's raced on, the Gold Coast man has impressed.

He won the premier MX1 class at the opening round near Timaru in February and then backed that up by again topping the podium at round two in the Manawatu region three weeks later.
However, at Sunday's third round of four in the series at Horohoro, just outside Rotorua, championship leader Ferris struck problems.

A succession of crashes saw him bleed points at an alarming rate and his 14-point championship advantage over fellow Australian Todd Waters at the start of the day soon evaporated to leave him in third place overall, two points behind Waters and five behind defending champion and new series leader Cody Cooper, of Mount Maunganui.

Ferris remains upbeat - with a meagre five-point spread between these top three men, anything is possible at the fourth and final round at Taupo this coming weekend.

"I was closing in on (race leader) Cody Cooper in the first race and working on finding a way past when I hit a (trackside) hay bale. I ended up finishing third," Ferris explained.

"Then in the next race I had a huge crash. I cart-wheeled down the hill and my handlebars were all bent out of shape. I managed to salvage some points by riding across the finish line in 18th place.

"I knew I had to put things right in the final race and it was a really close battle between me and Todd and Cody. I put on a massive charge at the end and passed both of them on the big downhill on the last lap. The race win was really important because I needed to limit the damage to my points."

His final thrust to regain the championship lead and the crown will come at Taupo, another circuit on which he has had no previous experience, but that hasn't seemed to slow him down yet.
Meanwhile, it was a Yamaha 1-2-3 in the MX2 class at Rotorua on Sunday, with Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider Kayne Lamont scoring a hat-trick of wins to top the class, while another Australian visitor, Jed Beaton (Triple B Valley Fresh Yamaha YZ250F), finished overall runner-up to Lamont, and a third Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider, Waitakere's Ethan Martens, took the third step on the podium.

Beaton is still second in the championship standings, but now just 13 points behind Takaka's Hamish Harwood.

Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team boss Josh Coppins was philosophical about the mixed weekend.

"For the MX1 class it was a tough day. That last race win showed that Dean (Ferris) is on for the championship. He can still definitely win it from here and how he rebounded from those setbacks today was sensational.

"As for the MX2 class, what we saw from Kayne (Lamont) today was really just what I have been expecting from him. I expected that from him at the previous round too, but he had a little mishap there."

The fourth and final round of the series is set for the Digger McEwen Motocross Park facility, on the outskirts of Taupo, on Sunday (March 20).

The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,