Dean Ferris had to earn his sixth consecutive victory of the 2018 MX Nationals season the old-fashioned way after fighting off spirited challenges from a number of riders in a rewarding days racing for the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team star.
The picturesque Conondale circuit, in the Hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, played host to round six of the championship and the Ferris show rolled on as he took his sixth round win of the season and cemented his position at the top of the MX1 table on his Yamaha YZ450F.
Moto one saw Ferris just outside the top five in the early stages but he quickly clawed his way towards the front and moved into second place with just a few laps in the books. He stalked race leader, Luke Clout, before making his move and taking control of the race.
But he didn’t ride off into the sunset like the large crowd on hand expected, Kade Mosig, took it to the reigning champ as he charged past Clout and put pressure on Ferris for the race lead. It wasn’t until lap 14 that Ferris was finally again to escape the clutches of Mosig and ride to a race win.
The second moto saw a similar pattern as Ferris didn’t get the start he wanted and again had plenty of work in front of him if he wanted another race victory. He indeed pushed his way forward, only this time it was Brett Metcalfe who wanted to break up the Ferris party and the pair went lap for lap within tenths of a second of one another with Dean taking the race win only one second ahead of Metcalfe.
“It wasn’t easy today and I had to dig deep to get both race wins,” Ferris commented at the end of the day. “My starts weren’t what they needed to be and the speed of the top five guys was good so it made for hard work.
“But it is rewarding to win it this way and I’m glad I was able to make it happen. I still want challenges, and I want to race and that’s what I got today and I’m excited about that.
“Conondale is one of my favourite tracks and it was cool to have a good crowd here to watch as well as plenty of friends and family that stopped by to lend their support. The CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team were awesome again today and together we will keep working hard until this championship is secure,” Ferris ends.
It also started out a promising day for teammate, Dylan long, who qualified well and posted a time fast enough to make the top five Superpole event. He then transferred that speed into the opening MX1 moto and was inside the top three and in the battle for the race lead early in the race before a rock thrown from a bike in front of him cannoned into his goggles and cutting his lip badly.
With blood streaming from his face and dirt and sweat making things very comfortable for Long underneath his helmet he dropped back a few positions as the 30minute moto continued to finish eighth in a challenging opening moto.
Determined to finish the day on a strong note, Long was again near the front early in race two only to be forced out of the race with a mechanical issue.
“Today just wasn’t my day,” Long shrugged. “I felt great on the bike this morning and was confident I could get a good result today. My starts were good in both motos and I put myself in the positions I needed to be in to get the job done but it wasn’t meant to be.
“I got hit with roost so bad in the first moto that a rock got between my helmet and the nose piece on my goggles that split my lip and hurt like hell. I was having trouble breathing as blood kept coming into my mouth and down my face.
“Then race two, I’m not sure what happened but the CDR Yamaha team will be all over it and I’m sure they will have it sorted for the next round,” Long concludes.
Ferris is now over a round clear of his nearest rival, holding a 95-point advantage over second place while Dylan sits in eighth despite the tough weekend at Conondale.
The second of the big double header weekends takes place at Raymond Terrace on July 14 and 15 as rounds seven and eight hit the dirt bike hub of the Hunter Valley.
1st Dean Ferris – 425
2nd Mitch Evans – 330
3rd Luke Clout – 329
4th Kade Mosig – 321
5th Caleb Ward – 299
6th Kirk Gibbs – 289
7th Rhys Carter – 288
8th Dylan Long – 281
9th Brett Metcalfe -277
10th Connor Tierney – 257