Monster Energy Yamaha’s Dean Ferris will remember the 2013 Grand Prix of Belgium for a long time. The 23 year old Australian not only celebrated his first FIM Motocross World Championship victory but dominated the weekend on his YZ250F with Pole Position and wins in both MX2 motos. 19,000 spectators entered a temperate and cloudy Bastogne for the fifteenth round of seventeen in the current campaign. It was the site for the seventh podium result for YZ250F technology this year and Yamaha’s first triumph in 2013.
The tree-lined Sans Souci layout presented a quick and rutty course with the fine soil producing a slick and ‘attackable’ surface. Occasional showers partially helped soften the terrain, contain the dust and alternate areas of grip. Ferris collected his second Pole Position of the season with a good start and duel with world champion Jeffrey Herlings on Saturday. When the Dutchman crashed and subsequently ruled himself out of the meeting with a dislocated shoulder Ferris eased to the top spot and first pick in the gate.
The first Grand Prix moto saw all four Monster Energy Yamahas circulating in the top five as Maxime Desprey aced the holeshot and led the first three-quarters of the distance. The French rookie was unable to keep Ferris at bay until the chequered flag however and dropped back to (still) a career-best fourth place. Christophe Charlier was a solid third for three YZ250F in the first four slots. Misfortune for European Champion Mel Pocock who crashed out of the leading sect and had to retire with a damaged machine. The Brit then also had to stop in the second affair after becoming involved in a first turn pile-up.
With Ferris already toasting a first ’25 points’ the Aussie confidently strode away in the second race after dealing with the early attentions of Glen Coldenhoff. In a faultless and controlled run ‘111’ made sure of his achievement in some style. Charlier did not have the edge of speed that he displayed earlier in the day and a fall ruined his momentum. He crossed the line in seventh place – for sixth overall – and just in front of Desprey – seventh overall for a very strong weekend – to stay in touch for the battle for third place in the MX2 Championship.
Bastogne was home to the sixth round of eight in the European EMX125 series and Nicolas Dercourt shone on the YZ125 with third place and a cool podium finish one week after a similar result in the FIM Junior World Championship. The French teenager is now second in the series standings.
The MX2 class title might have already been won but the final podium positions are still up for grabs and Charlier current stands 4th on 439 points and 31 from Jose Butron with 100 left to win. Ferris is 6th and only 3 away from Coldenhoff in 5th. Mel Pocock holds 13th while Desprey retains 16th.
The FIM Motocross World Championship will speed into its final phases in the coming three weeks with Grands Prix in Great Britain and Holland bringing the calendar to a close before the 67th Motocross of Nations (with Christophe Charlier and Dean Ferris both set to represent their countries) taking place at Teutschenthal in Germany on September 29th.
Dean Ferris: “It was a perfect weekend really and it was key to get two good starts here which is what I did. The first moto was tough and it took me a long time to get around my team-mate. My goggles were finished and as soon as I passed him I threw them off and that was a relief for me. I clocked out some good lap-times and controlled the race. In the second moto I immediately passed Coldenhoff and we jostled for the lead a little bit until I could drop the hammer and make a gap of around seven seconds. I managed that the whole way and nothing crazy happened and I didn’t make any mistakes. The track seemed to suit me both days. When Jeffrey [Herlings, world champion] went home last night I think all of the guys in MX2 thought they would give it a really good go today and I’m proud that I took both motos. I’ve won a GP now so the ‘monkey is off the back’ and I think the Matterley Basin track up next will be good for me. I haven’t raced there but was a spectator in 2011 and there are plenty of ruts and hopefully I can carry this form into next weekend. It is special that we broke the KTM streak in the class and gave Yamaha our first win of the season, so I’m also proud of that. I am one of four Australians to be on a GP podium and also to win and to be in the record books with Reed, McFarlane and Leisk is pretty special. At the beginning of the year I had a goal of winning a grand prix. I knew I’d be super-stoked if it happened and I’m pumped that I actually got one.”
Christophe Charlier: “In the first race I had a good start and worked towards a solid third. I had to fight to fourth in the second moto but then had a crash. I found it difficult to pass the other riders and keep my rhythm. I lost what points I gained in the first moto but racing can go like this. I am now focussed on what I have to do next week in England. Everything is still possible in this championship.”
Maxime Desprey: “This was my best Grand Prix yet. In the first race I took the holeshot and I was first for around twenty-five minutes; it was pretty crazy! I tried not to make any mistakes but near the end it was a bit more difficult with a lot of pressure from the guys behind. Anyway I finished fourth and that’s my best result. In the second race my start wasn’t so bad and I was behind Tixier for a long time. I tried to pass him but started to get a bit tired by the end. The whole weekend was a good learning experience and I’m happy.”