[Yamaha]

DEAN FERRIS: FROM RETIREMENT TO MXoN HISTORY!

9 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: YMA, MXGP and Alex Kelly Images

While Aussie motocross fans are celebrating Team Australia’s best finish (second place, from 37 nations!) at the 2023 Motocross of Nations on the weekend and rightfully singing the praises of Jett and Hunter Lawrence for their standout performances, spare a thought Dean Ferris’s headspace at iconic event in France, and his incredible journey from broken back to retirement to comeback announcement to 2023 ProMX title (his fourth in the premier class!) to history-making MXoN performance – all in the space of a few years!

Alex Kelly Images

As Yamaha Motor Australia’s Motorsport Manager, Scott Bishop, said, “Make no mistake; the pressure was on Dean Ferris heading into the weekend’s Motocross of Nations event in France. Slotting in to be the third wheel in the traveling Lawrence-Brother motocross juggernaut is one tough gig. But Ferris handled the occasion well and raced to a fifth-place finish in the MX Open division, elevating Team Australia to an MXoN high of second place in the world teams’ championship.”

Alex Kelly Images

According to Bishop, Ferris raced a bike that was borrowed from the factory Yamaha team and kitted out to the exact same spec he raced to success in the 2023 ProMX season. Ferris raced to 12th and 16th place finishes on track in a solid performance and backed up the sensational racing by the Lawrence brothers to secure Australia’s best result in the high-profile event.

Alex Kelly Images

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Ferris, who had a spectacular crash in Saturday’s qualifying race while running inside the top six. He and his bike flipped down the track; yet, aside from some bent handlebars and levers, Ferris was able to walk away and come back to fight on Sunday.

“What an amazing week,” Ferris beamed after the weekend in Ernee, France. “The atmosphere all weekend has been electric, and the French fans are insane on one of the best viewing motocross tracks in the world. No matter where you were on the track, you could hear and feel the crowd and it was the best racing environment I have been in. It’s also great to be a part of the team that has achieved the best result in our MXoN history. When you consider some of the strong teams we have sent in the past, it really is amazing to get this result.

“Jett and Hunter have been great teammates, and that ride of Jett’s in the opening moto was inspiring. He was down on the first lap and then gave it everything he had to claw his way back to sixth, and it set the tone of what was expected from the rest of us.

“Thank you to so many people who made this trip possible. Only six weeks ago, I wasn’t going to do it. But now I’m so glad that we made the trip and part of such an awesome group of people. Yamaha stepped up with their assistance, Dunlop, Akrapovic, Fox as well as Moose – my suspension guy – and Motorcycling Australia. Thanks also to Benny for making the trip with me, Nash for taking time out of his holiday to lend a hand, and Mike back at Yamaha in Australia for getting things organised for me. 2023 was already special to me, but this just took it up a notch,” Ferris went on to say.

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