Yamaha Racing has retained the prestigious ProMX MX1 (450cc) and WMX (Women’s) Championships after the final round of the series was completed at the Coolum Pines Circuit, on the Sunshine Coast. Again Yamaha can lay claim to having the fastest man and woman on dirt in Australia for another season.Dean Ferris claimed his fourth ProMX championship with a polished performance at the final round where he finished second for the day but that was more than enough to secure the championship and makes it three in a row for Yamaha after Luke Clout and Aaron Tanti were winners in 2021 and 2022 respective.
To view a bLU cRU review of Dean Ferris and his championship day: https://youtu.be/Z-fSCrmuWRw
Charli Cannon took her second WMX championship after a final round domination on her home track at Coolum. It was also the first time she had stood on the podium since turning 18 so she was finally allowed to spray some champaign in celebration of another number 1 plate.
To view the bLU cRU review of Charli Cannon and her championship day: https://youtu.be/l3jnxrbUQAY
Ferris and his YZ450F had been the inform combination all year and entering the final round at Coolum, he enjoyed a 15 point buffer over second place but given the hostilities that Coolum often throws up, this was a long way from over and two, thirty minute motos in the black sand is always easier said that done.
And his weekend didn’t start off great. He crashed heavily in the Saturday qualifying session that left his bike a little twisted and himself a little rattled. With some shoulder and neck soreness, he got some running repairs over night as did the bike and things were back on track for Sunday morning and he locked down fourth spot in Superpole.
The maths for Sunday was simply. Keep Jed Beaton in sight and the championship was his. Beaton had barely set a foot wrong all year and had proven to be ultra consistent and he also showed good pace in qualifying.
Both motos were also carbon copies of each other. Ferris was conservative on the opening laps, doing what ever he could do stay out of the usual chaos 40 hyped up motocross riders create. Once the field settled down, so did Ferris and each time he climbed his way from fourth into second and held it there to the end. It was a very mature performance from a rider who continues to grow on and off the track. He did exactly what he needed to do and executed with perfect.
“2023 has been a massive year of change for me and I’m so happy that I came back to racing and found my love of it again,” Ferris begins. “It was only a small crew of people, but everyone was dedicated and determined to do well and gave me what I needed to get the job done.
“This time last year I was burnt out and done but now I think I’m more invigorated than ever and the thrill of winning never gets old. It’s been five years since I won a championship and there were times when it seemed so far away, but I hung in there, kept fighting and made the changes I needed to and I’m so proud to have win it in 2023 against a high-quality field of riders and over such a challenging year as far as tracks and conditions go.
“A big thank you to Yamaha for stepping up and making this happen. I came to them late with this idea of what I wanted to do, and they were able to put a platform in place that worked for me and the YZ450F just feels so natural to me,” Ferris ends.
Charli Cannon was tied on points with her nearest rival as the women lined up for their final round at Coolum. While Cannon had been the dominate rider in the series, a fall in moto 2 at QMP that saw her unable to finish the race, tightened the points back up and it was all on the line, winner take all at the final round in the WMX division.
And we should never have doubted her. Cannon rounded the first turn inside the top four each team, passed into the lead within the opening laps and then continued to stretch out her lead all the way until the checkered flag. She won both races by approximately 30 seconds to stamp her authority in WMX and make it back-to-back championships.
“I was pretty nervous coming into the final round. I had to reset from last weekend at QMP and just trying and focus on riding well this weekend because there was no room for error in the points after that DNF.
“I also had to learn from last week and not make that same mistake again. I tried to rush a pass when I shouldn’t have, and I went down and damaged the bike so there was a lot going on in my head before the races started.
“But thankfully when the gates dropped, I was just able to race. I was able to get to the lead quickly without taking any risks and the track was super tough, especially in that second race so I was so focused on my lines and what was happening on the track, I didn’t really think about the championship. But I was pretty relieved when I came onto the final straight knowing that I had it won.
“Thank you Yamaha and the entire Yamalube Yamaha Team. Its great the support they have given me, and I think it’s been a big part in why there are more girls being supported in motocross. Also, to ProMX for giving us a platform to race. There are now more than 20 riders at each round and hopefully that continues to grow, and the women enjoy the experience of racing at these events,” Cannon signs off.