Dean Ferris has had a terrific 2013 season thus far. Although he has endured some highs and lows, there have been many more highs, including the GP of Finland this past weekend. Prior to the start of the year the Australian was a bit of an unknown quantity; most presumed that he would be better suited to the 450f. But that does not seem to be the case, surprisingly.
When Dean Ferris jumped onto the overall podium at Hyvinkää, it felt like quite a while since he was last up there. It had been six rounds, as he finished second at Agueda (round six), and before that the Australian had finished second at the first round of the 2013 campaign also. I am certain that most did not expect him to climb onto the podium at all, which is why he has been such a surprise this year. The Monster Energy Yamaha team found a great rider in Dean Ferris – that is for sure.
Honestly I was quite surprised to see Dean Ferris drop down to the MX2 class this year, as he has made a name for himself as a 450 rider. Interestingly he has to move back up to the MX1 class next year, because of the age restriction rule (he is twenty-two years of age currently). I believe that Ferris will be making the switch to the big bike with the Monster Energy Yamaha team in 2014, which is obviously a program that he has become accustomed to. It is a shame that he can’t stay down on the 250 for one more year; it would be interesting to see what he could do with a full years worth of experience under his belt.
I did not expect Dean Ferris to rebound from a handful of lackluster results at the Finnish GP, as he has never really proven that sand is a strong suit of his. Obviously his two podiums this year came on two circuits that were quite hard-pack in comparison to Hyvinkää. Despite this, Ferris seemingly proved that he could master all track surfaces, as he posted two thirds up in Northern Europe for second overall. Funnily enough every time that he has climbed onto the podium has been in second overall, which is quite an Interesting statistic. Although Dean has been up onto the box three times, he has not led a single lap this year, which is a surprise.
Anyway, I digress. Following a dismal qualifying race it was even more surprising to see Dean Ferris get two solid starts, and finish on the podium in both motos. In the qualifier, Ferris got caught up in the first turn crash; he climbed back to fifteenth after that. So, Dean didn’t have the best choice of gate. Despite this, Dean ended lap one in third in the first moto; this was a position that he held for the duration of the moto. Ferris’ lap times were quite consistent for the duration of the moto, as they hovered around the one-minute forty-five second mark for all of the twenty-two laps.
Although the finish in the second race was the same, it was slightly harder for Dean Ferris to acquire, as he had to fight his way up from the edge of the top five on lap one; he had to get around Dylan Ferrandis and Jose Butron to get onto the moto podium. Dean was one of only three riders to set a lap time in the one-minute forty-one range. So, his speed was deserving of a podium, quite clearly.
Dean Ferris has inched closer to the top five in the series standings now, as he is just thirteen points behind fifth place, Glenn Coldenhoff. Dean is not too far behind Christophe Charlier in the points standings either; if he can put his momentum from the Finnish GP to good use, he could end up in that position by the end of the year. Remember, he missed round three with a collarbone injury, so the fact that he is in this position is quite impressive.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Yamaha Racing