One of the most pristine and picturesque motocross tracks in the country Green Park in Conondale was the backdrop for Round 3 of the Motul MX Nationals today, and it was once again CDR Yamaha‰Ûªs Dean Ferris who left the venue undefeated in the Thor MX1 class.
Ferris was impressive from the minute he hit the track on the Sunshine Coast today, the reigning champ putting on a performance for thousands of spectators, and maintaining the red plate as the series powers on.
Competitors and fans were greeted with dry track conditions for Thor MX1 qualifying this morning, but the one rider who capitalised on the conditions early was KTM Motocross Racing Team‰Ûªs Kirk Gibbs. Gibbs was close to a second faster than any other rider on track with a 2:10.898 lap time at the conclusion of the session. Second fastest was Russian MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki‰Ûªs Aleksandr Tonkov (2:11.568), followed by CDR Yamaha‰Ûªs Ferris, Crankt Protein Honda Racing‰Ûªs Todd Waters and teammate Luke Clout.
With the top five through to GoPro Superpole, fans watched on in anticipation as riders threw down their fastest flying laps, but it was Ferris who made it count when it mattered, once again taking his third Superpole victory for the season and first pick of the grid when racing commence with a 2:10.620 lap time.
When bikes headed to the line for race one all eyes were on the heavy hitters, and uncharacteristically Ferris and Gibbs opted to take positions on the grid no where near each other. But when gates dropped it was the Russian rider Tonkov who took the Raceline holeshot, and only a bikes length behind him was Waters and Ferris who weren‰Ûªt letting the international competitor out of their sights.
With one lap in the books Ferris made a quick pass on Waters and moved up into second position, where he then set his sights firmly on the rear wheel of race leader Tonkov, and before riders had even reached their second rotation, the CDR Yamaha rider had moved into the race lead.
With Ferris out in front, the focus the shifted to the battle for positions behind him. And battle they did. KTM Motocross Racing Team‰Ûªs Gibbs began his charge to the front, passing both Waters and Tonkov to snatch up second position. Despite Waters dropping off the pace for a short time and losing a spot to Tonkov, it wasn‰Ûªt long before the Crankt Protein Honda Racing Team rider found his wheels once again and moved back up into third place.
Unfortunately for Tonkov his time at the front was short lived in moto one, and by lap four the Factory Kawasaki rider had dropped back to fifth position, where he then continued to fade.
After ten minutes on track for the Thor MX1 class, Ferris continued to school his competitors, leading by a comfortable margin. Gibbs and Waters occupied second and third while DPH Motorsport‰Ûªs Kade Mosig was back in fourth. Rookie MX1 rider Clout was having yet another impressive ride in fifth position, while Penrite Honda‰Ûªs Jesse Dobson and SD3 Husqvarna‰Ûªs Brett Metcalfe continued to battle for sixth.
As race one reached its final stages, Ferris continued to be the fastest rider on track, slowly stretching out his lead to a commanding eight seconds. Behind him, Metcalfe was on his own charge, passing the likes of Dobson and then Clout to make his way into the MX1 top five.
But it was Ferris who had reason to celebrate at the conclusion of moto one, taking his fourth race victory for the year by a comfortable eight seconds. Second place was taken by Gibbs, while Waters rounded out the MX1 podium getters in the opening moto. Mosig crossed the finish line in fourth followed by Metcalfe who held on to finish in fifth. Dobson, KTM Motocross Racing Team‰Ûªs Luke Styke, Clout, Nathan Crawford and privateer Keiron Hall completed the top ten in race one.