Catching Up With Tim Ferry

[IMAGE 1]With the Motocross des Nations now off of his mind, the last remaining team member is going to be racing his brand new YZ450F this weekend at the World Cup of Motocross. Tim seems to be more focused than ever, even though there are a lot of changes going on around him. A revised bike, a new mechanic, and a new teammate, and a new team manager are amongst the things Tim will be dealing with this coming race season. We sat down with Tim in between motos at Elsinore

TransWorld Motocross: How much input did you have on the new YZ450F?

Tim Ferry: I don’t think I really had a lot. I think what has happened is over the years, Doug Henry, Jimmy Button and myself have given the input need to evolve the bike to where it is now. As long as I have been riding the YZ426F, I would try to make it do certain things. The engineers would then go to the drawing board and incorporate those ideas into the bike. I did not even ride the bike until it was already done. Doug Dubach probably had the most input on the new YZ450F.

TWMX: What happened to your mechanic Brian Kinney?

TF: He is actually tired of traveling. He’s been on the road for quite a few years. Brian wants to spend more time at home with his girlfriend. She has a couple of children and he likes having the weekends off. He wants to stay in the sport and continue in racing somehow, but he also likes being at home. It’s his job being a mechanic, but he can do the same job and have the weekends off. It’s all about the riders in this sport, everything has to revolve around the rider. I am sure it’s hard for the mechanics to deal with that at times. I don’t think people realize how much time they put in. They don’t just work 9-5 and hang out, most of the time they are working 70-80 hours per week.

[IMAGE 2] TWMX: So is he an in-house mechanic at Yamaha?

TF: Right now he is helping my new mechanic Steve Matthes get going. Steve will be starting in about a week. After the US Open, Brian is going to look at his options at Yamaha.

TWMX: Will it be hard switching mechanics?

TF: I don’t think it will be too bad. It’s not like we are in the middle of a season. We have had a good off season to get familiarized with the new bike. Steve, my new mechanic and I, have known each other for a long time. We worked together at Chaparral and at Noleen. I know him well, he is a good friend of mine. Hopefully, Brian will stay around in-house at Yamaha. In my opinion there is no one with more experience on four-stroke racing motors in the U.S.

TWMX: Is there a chance the US team will go to Spain for the Motocross des Nations?

TF: I don’t think so. We are not really prepared to go to that race now that it’s at the end of October. We all have a lot going on at that time of the year. I plan on doing the World Supercross’ and I have made a commitment to do a race in Genoa Italy. It is such a disappointment not being able to do the MXdN here in America. Maybe I will be selected next year to go and represent the USA. If we had any kind of advance notice that this was going to happen, we could have planed for it. It’s too tough to get all the logistics worked out on such short notice, we have so many other things going on.

TWMX: Looking forward to the 2003 supercross season, do you think you will have that break through year you have been working for?

TF: You know, I think I am. Last year was going to be the year and nothing ever worked out. In the off season I hurt my wrist. Then right before Anaheim I torn my knee out, only to come back at Phoenix and I bruised my lungs there. It was like a domino effect! The 2002 outdoor season went well for me. We have been testing for supercross since the beginning of September, I feel have a good start for ’03. Having the new YZ450F is going to be so much better for me. It’s lighter faster and handles better. That’s going to be a big advantage in both supercross and in the Nationals.

TWMX: How well do you get along with Chad Reed?

TF: We have become good friends over the summer. He spent about two months at my house in Florida, and we hung out quite a bit. I get along with him really well. He has a lot of energy, and he is really serious about racing. It’s good to be around someone like that.

TWMX: Are you and David Vuillemin close at all?

TF: Not really. We have not spent that much time together. The language obstacle is there, even though he speaks good English, we don’t talk that much. Chad and I got close when he came to my house and spent a lot of time together. David has a house in California and he spends most of his time either there or in France. We talk a lot, but I don’t think we’re really good friends.

TWMX: How important is having a good teammate?

TF: To have someone good on your team is a plus. Having Jeremy on the team for the last couple of years has been positive for me. David is a really good supercross rider, and Chad is a great all around rider. Having those two around definitely makes all of us faster. We really push each other hard to be the best we can be. Nobody wants to be the slowest at the Yamaha track. It’s good for our speed and it really prepares us for the upcoming season.

TWMX: Do you have any funny stories about Chad Reed?

TF: I have a couple I can share with you. While Chad was at my house, he developed a bunch of bumps all over his body. For a week he thought he had chicken pox, then he thought it was the measles. I have this track going through the woods at my house and he just got some good old-fashioned spider bites. I think he’s a little bit of a hypochondriac! Another time this summer we were at my house getting ready for Red Bud (my favorite track). Chad was tired, so he took the day off from riding. I was jumping this single up to a table top. It was kind of muddy so it got pretty rutted up. So Chad is out working on the track thinking he is doing some good, and he fills in this rut going off the lip of the jump I just described. He built some crazy lip and I hit it. It kicked me hard onto my front wheel and I landed in this pit. I smashed my chest into the handlebars and bent them. My ribs hurt for like a month after that, actually they are still bothering me. He almost killed me!

Chad Reed chimes in: It looked like he was struggling to do the jump! I was just trying to get him over it.

TF: I thought he was trying to get me to do a backflip over it!

Chad Reed: It looked like you were trying a front flip!