Team Oz Battle In The Netherlands
Team Australia has pushed through tough conditions in Assen to finish fifteenth on the world stage. They raced and fought hard the whole weekend and went from tenth to fifth at the beginning of the final race, then due to mechanical failures on both bikes, slid back to fifteenth in the third and final race.
The MXstore MXoN (Motocross of Nations) Australian Team consisted of Dean Ferris (who made his sixth MXoN appearance), Western Australian’s debutants Kyle Webster and Regan Duffy. Individually Ferris finished in thirteenth (MXGP), Duffy in tenth (Open) and Australia’s highest individually Webster in seventh (MX2).
Despite a rainstorm that lashed the white sand of Assen. Thousands were in attendance and the stands of the TT-circuit were filled with loud cheers and colours of the national flags. The atmosphere was incredible as 20 nations battled it out for pride and glory for their home country as well as the highly sought after Chamberlain trophy. Team Netherlands’ Glenn Coldenhoff finished with a 1-1 score for the second year running, Jeffrey Herlings with 2-4 and Calvin Vlaanderen with 10-10 that saw them cruise to their win on home soil with 18-points.
On Saturday, September 28, qualifying kicked into gear with each of our Aussie boys qualifying inside the top ten. Ferris aboard his KTM 450 in the MXGP class had a fantastic start just as the heavens opened up. He managed to come away in tenth position after getting absolutely peppered by the sharp imported sand with no goggles.
Penrite Honda mounted Webster kicked off his MX2 Qualifying in style, almost grabbing the holeshot from Justin Cooper and running in second for a few laps. He was relegated back to third battling away and that’s where he finished, the highest in qualifying of the three Aussies.
17-year-old Duffy, who was a late inclusion for the team, got off to an amazing start as he entered the first couple of corners and solidified his place in third. A few laps in, Duffy had a few incidents, although picked the bike back up and got going to finish sixth ahead of some of the world’s best.
MXGP/MX2 Race 1
Ferris, started off strong with both he and Webster sitting inside the top ten. But it wasn’t meant to be for the boys. Webster’s bike got stuck in the mud and he dropped back in the field to sixteenth place. Ferris went down and dropped to ninth place and held onto finish in fifteenth, with Webster not too far behind and record 23rd for his debut race of the MXoN.
Open/MX2 Race 2
Duffy finished in eleventh place on his debut in the world stage. Webster finished just over 21-seconds behind Duffy and was able to better his Race 1 spot achieving fourteenth position. This lifted Australia to fifth overall in the team standings with one race remaining.
MXGP/Open Race 3
Heading into the third and final race, team Australia sat in fifth overall, although due to mechanical failures on both bikes, Ferris would finish in thirteenth and Duffy in thirty-third place.
Dean Ferris: “It wasn’t the result which we were after. We were really close to a podium. However, we had a double DNF. Reagan and I needed a top ten finish to make that happen. We got a bad start, but that’s the way things go sometimes.”
Kyle Webster: “Unfortunately it wasn’t the result which we were looking for, but the boys had a good go and I can’t thank them enough for helping me to get here.”
Regan Duffy: “Massive thanks to everyone. I tried my hardest but the bike didn’t end up making it. Awesome riding by both Dean and Kyle. This weekend has been the greatest experience of my life.