Dean Ferris revs up
DELIGHTED Dean Ferris believes the early signs are all pointing to a successful year of motocross competition on the global stage.
The Kyogle rider is preparing for the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship season with his new Monster Energy Yamaha team.
Since his switch was confirmed in October, Ferris, 22, has been settling into life with his new outfit and recently spent a week testing his new YZ 250cc bike in England.
He is impressed with how his new bike is shaping up.
"They were the best testing sessions I have ever had," he said.
"I had the bike exactly how I wanted it.
"I was 100% on my game.
"We will see what happens (but)I am pretty sure I can be near the front of the pack this year."
It is an exciting time for the former Ice One Kawasaki team rider, who bases himself in Belgium for competition.
A new three-year racing contract means he will compete in the 250cc class in 2013, before stepping up to the 450cc series in 2014-15.
Ferris faces another two months of training before the season starts in March.
The circuit crosses the planet, with stops across Europe, South America and Central America.
Top riders from around the world compete in the series, one of the world's premier motorcycle racing competitions.
Ferris said his confidence levels had been boosted by the successful pre-competition testing.
"I am 100% confident we can go well," he said. "The team was impressed with the speeds we were getting, which was great to see."
Ferris has enjoyed a notable racing career since turning professional at 16.
He achieved several excellent achievements as a junior and finished fourth in the Australian Motocross Championship in 2011.
Despite being troubled by injury, he achieved commendable results in 2012, including winning the Finnish championships supercross event.
Having worked on improving his fitness levels in recent weeks, Ferris hopes he will be in prime condition for a successful 2013.
"I really want a full year free from injury as I have had a couple of rough years," he said.
"I have been working on my strength (in the off-season) and getting a bit of muscle mass.
"They team has impressed me because they have listened to what I have to say.
"If there is something that I feel needs changing, we talk about it.
"I am hoping it will be a good year."