AUSTRALIA, QUEENSLAND. An Australian champion was crowned at Round 9 of the Motul MX Nationals at Toowoomba today, with CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris racing to 1,1 race results and claiming his second consecutive Thor MX1 title with a round to spare.
With thousands of spectators turning out today in the hope to see history made at Toowoomba, Ferris delivered in the most epic way possible – dominating both races before crossing the finish line this afternoon as this year’s premier class champion.
With GoPro Superpole entry more important than ever this weekend, qualifying this morning was without a doubt the most exciting of the season. By the mid-way point in the session, KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Kirk Gibbs was sitting in pole, while his toughest competitor Ferris was back in third, ensuring the crowds were on the edge of their seats for the entire timed session.
After 30 minutes of practice and qualifying, it was Gibbs who finished on the top of the time sheets with a 1:48.635 lap time, second was MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe (1:49.270), followed by Honda mounted pair Luke Clout, and Todd Waters, while red plate holder Ferris was the final rider to progress into the all important GoPro Superpole.
With a maximum of three championship points as well as the first gate pick up for grabs, riders had everything to gain in Superpole this morning, but it was Metcalfe who rose to the occasion to claim his first GoPro Superpole win of the season with a 1:49.302 lap time, second went to Gibbs, while Ferris finished third, claiming only a single championship point.
When the Thor MX1 riders took to the grid for their first moto of the weekend, thousands of spectators dotted the fence line, ready to watch one of the best races of the season unfold.
When gates dropped, it was Gibbs who stormed down the start straight to claim the Raceline Holeshot, followed by CDR Yamaha’s Ferris, and within only a lap the series points leader made the pass on his closest competitor Gibbs and moved into a familiar position, the race lead.
Behind the top two, GoPro Superpole winner Metcalfe held the final podium position, followed by Wilson Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki’s Kyle Peters and rookie Honda rider Clout.
By lap three, the crowd was treated to the battle they had been waiting for, Gibbs began to close in on Ferris and apply the pressure for the lead, meanwhile behind them, Metcalfe too began to reduce the gap between himself and the lead pair.
Unfortunately for Clout, a crash in the early stages of the moto saw him drop back to close to dead last, the Honda rider forced to nurse a damaged machine and come through the field for the next 20 minutes.
After five laps on the Echo Valley circuit, Ferris continued to lead, however, Gibbs was not letting the championship leader out of his sights – behind Gibbs, Metcalfe continued to maintain third, followed by Peters, Waters and MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Crawford.
By the halfway mark in moto one, Ferris had shaken off the threat that Gibbs previously posed, while Gibbs had his hands full in second, fighting off a hard charging Metcalfe aboard his Kawasaki machine. But unfortunately for Metcalfe, disaster struck the experienced rider after ten laps on the track. While sitting in third, Metcalfe crashed out and was forced to return to the pits, registering a DNF.
With Metcalfe out, Peters inherited third and looked to be in the box seat to claim his first podium race finish of the season.
With six minutes remaining, Ferris had increased his lead on Gibbs to a comfortable 4.5 seconds, the CDR Yamaha rider determined to do everything in his power to wrap up the championship with a round to spare.
When riders received the last lap board, it was clear that Ferris’ dominance couldn’t be matched at Echo Valley in race one, and with no change to positions, the red plate holder simply had one more lap to complete in order to collect his 14th race victory.
And claim victory is exactly what the CDR Yamaha rider did, second place went to KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Gibbs, followed by Peters who broke through to finish in third in moto one. The fourth position went to Kawasaki rookie Crawford, followed by Crankt Protein Honda Racing’s Waters in fifth. DPH Motorsport’s Mosig concluded race one is sixth, followed by Dylan Long, Luke Styke, Clout who charged through the field to ninth, while Lachlan Davis completed the top ten.
With Ferris faced with the opportunity to clinch the Thor MX1 title in moto two at Toowoomba today, the crowd remained trackside to witness what could be the biggest moment of the season.
When gates dropped, it was Gibbs who once again secured the Raceline holeshot, but with back to back championships on his mind, it only took four turns for Ferris to move into the race lead.
After two laps, Ferris’ lead on Gibbs increased to 3.5 seconds, while behind the top two Peters and Mosig occupied third and fourth positions. But with 30 minute plus a lap making up the final race of the day for the Thor MX1 class, for Ferris, it wasn’t over until he crossed the finish line.
By the four lap mark, the battle for fourth began to heat up, with DPH Motorsport’s Yamaha rider Mosig beginning to feel the pressure from Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team’s Waters, who was looking to redeem himself after a difficult first moto at Toowoomba.
After ten minutes on the track, Ferris looked more in control than ever before out in front, while Gibbs and Peters maintained their second and third place positions. Mosig continued to feel the pressure from Waters, while Metcalfe, Crawford and Clout all remained inside the top ten.
Unfortunately for Waters, a crash at the midway point of race two spelt a drop in positions for the Honda rider – Waters slipping from fifth to eighth and with a task ahead of him if he was to make his way back through the talented field.
Surprisingly, with only ten minutes until the last lap board was set to be displayed, there had been little to no change in positions, but the one rider who the entire crowd could not peel their eyes away from was Ferris.
After 12 laps, behind the top three of Ferris, Gibbs and Peters, things started to get interesting. Both rookies Crawford and Clout had both passed their more experienced teammates and moved into fifth and sixth positions, relegating Metcalfe and Waters back to seventh and eighth.
But with less than five minutes remaining, the crowd began to hold their breath, each and every individual fixated on the number one machine of Ferris who continued to charge towards his second consecutive title.
And when the last lap board was displayed for the final time at Echo Valley Raceway today, Ferris was well and truly in the box seat to clinch the Thor MX1 title, and when his CDR Yamaha machine crossed the line for the final time, he collected the moto two race victory and was finally crowned the 2017 Thor MX1 Champion.
Second place in race two went to Gibbs, while Peters recorded his second third place of the day in the final MX1 moto. Mosig and Crawford completed the top five, followed by Clout, Styke, Long, Metcalfe and Waters who all finished race two inside the top ten.
But the man of the moment was Ferris at Toowoomba today, who not only went 1,1 but secured his second Thor MX1 championship. The second position on the Round 9 podium went to Gibbs, while Wilson Coolair Motul Factory Suzuki’s Peters achieved his first podium of the year, finishing third.
With Ferris wrapping up the title today, the final championship positions will be decided next weekend at the Grand Finale at Coolum.
Dean Ferris – CDR Yamaha – 2017 Thor MX1 Champion
“I only just got the championship last year, I went into the final round six points down, and I knew that I could do it but we had a lot of pressure on us,” Ferris shared.
“This year I really wanted to improve and be dominant. I wanted to be that guy that could win motos and win the title again. So I got to work straight after the season wrapped up and I was determined to improve on every aspect of my life, and at the same time, I made the decision that I wanted to become a dad.
“My girlfriend moved in with me, we improved the bike, my fitness, everything this year, so to get the title a round early and achieve what we have achieved, it feels amazing.
“Earlier today in qualifying we had a small issue and I ended up on my spare bike for that session, but we were determined to stick to the plan and not let it rattle me. For me, I wanted to execute and do what I’ve done every weekend, and I knew if I won the day it would be enough to get the title.
“I can’t thank the CDR Yamaha team and all of my friends, family, partner and supporters enough. Everyone was here to cheer me on at Toowoomba, and I’m stoked that I could get the championship here for them.”
Thor MX1 Round 9 Results
1) Dean Ferris – 70 points – Yamaha
2) Kirk Gibbs – 64 points – KTM
3) Kyle Peters – 60 points – Suzuki
4) Nathan Crawford – 54 points – Kawasaki
5) Kade Mosig – 53 points – Yamaha
6) Luke Clout – 47 points – Honda
7) Luke Styke – 47 points – KTM
8) Dylan Long – 47 points – Yamaha
9) Todd Waters – 47 points – Honda
10) Callum Norton – 39 points – KTM
Thor MX1 Championship Standings
1) Dean Ferris – 633 points – Yamaha
2) Kirk Gibbs – 553 points – KTM
3) Kade Mosig – 489 points – Yamaha
4) Todd Waters – 468 points – Honda
5) Luke Styke – 455 points – KTM
6) Kyle Peters – 431 points – Suzuki
7) Luke Clout – 425 points – Honda
8) Brett Metcalfe – 375 points – Kawasaki
9) Nathan Crawford – 358 points – Kawasaki
10) Joel Green – 300 points – KTM
The 2017 Motul MX Nationals will now continue, with the tenth and final round set to be held at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday and Sunday, August 19 & 20, 2017.
For more information on the 2017 Motul MX Nationals, head to www.mxnationals.com.au