Dean Ferris had a tall order ahead of him when he first came to the United States. First he needed to dial in a bike that was much different than the one he had raced before, learn the rhythm of Supercross, and find his place in Southern California. Luckily the Australian had the support of the Red Bull KTM team in every aspect and after two rounds, Ferris is ranked 10th in the 250 West Coast Supercross championship.
Now that you are a few races into the Supercross season, does it feel like what you expected?
Anaheim One was a struggle, I was really sick, but I was glad that nothing crazy happened and that I got through it. I was straight to the main and that was alright. In Phoenix I felt a bit better but was still a bit sick. Seventh is where I expected to be; it is a solid result and I just have to work on it from there. All the guys in front of me are really good, so I have to work to improve that result, but I look forward to the challenge.
Last weekend was a struggle to get through the main, but Malcolm Stewart wasn’t too far ahead. If I can improve a few things, hopefully I can run with those guys and have a bit more of a battle. I just have to make sure I stay away from the trouble. I had some incidents in practice and a few crashes throughout the day, then in my heat race went down in the first turn. I’m learning fast and that was only my second Supercross.
Are there areas of the track where you are surprised by how well you can get through them or surprising at how difficult they are?
I thought I was going to be better in the whoops than I have been, but it has been a bit of a struggle for me. That is definitely the hardest part, but I am getting there.
What are your expectations and goals through these next few races?
I just need to keep learning and make sure that I don’t make the same mistake twice. That is what the team wants to see from me; that I learn everything fast and don’t do anything stupid. I just want to stay safe and healthy, and if I improve, then the results will improve. I want to get better at my starts, because normally I’m a really good starter and I haven’t been impressed by them lately. If I can get a good one, that will really help.
You’ve really only practiced here at the KTM track, right? Is that better because it is private and you can learn without the track deteriorating and the risk of other riders?
I went to Milestone twice and I’d like to get there more than I have been, but this works out because we have been testing and stuff. Our track is really busy and technical, and the whoops are really big, so for me it is more than enough to learn on.
With Ken and Ryan as teammates, and Roger and the rest of the team for support, what has been the best advice you have received?
Everyone here has more experience than me, so I take little bits from what they tell me and work on it. Even walking around between my motos to watch Kenny and Ryan has been awesome. Seeing how they do it has helped me a lot.
Are you surprised by the pace and schedule of the Supercross program? Everything now is in a single, rushed day compared to a weekend of riding at the Grand Prix events.
No, because I always knew the schedule would be busy and I like that it is just one day. Two days is a bit of a drag at the Grand Prixs.
How will you spend the long break between rounds in the 250 West Coast Championship?
I will shoot home to Australia for a little bit and then take advantage of the break to start testing for the Nationals. That is my main focus in my first year, really. We will get all setup for that, and then do what all of the other West Coast guys will do with practicing to get back into Supercross before the last rounds.