With the announcement that Tim Ferry will be the third factory rider of Yamaha’s YZ426F (following in the steps of Doug Henry and Jimmy Button), Yamaha has placed another podium contender in next season’s AMA 250 Supercross series.
Tim Ferry has not taken the easy road to a factory ride in the 250 class. A former East Coast 125 Supercross champion for Suzuki, Ferry has ridden as a privateer in the 250 class for the past several years. Ferry could usually be found in the front half of the pack — sometimes in the top five. He showed good speed, at times, and was certainly the fastest privateer most evenings. He always lacked the light weight and horsepower advantage given to the full factory riders, however. That disadvantage will end this season.
Learning to ride the YZ426F is no simple task. The bike is extremely competitive (as Doug Henry proved — with a Supercross victory and an Outdoor National championship). It requires a very different riding style from a 250cc two-stroke, however. Ferry is a very skilled rider, however, and he appears to be a smooth, fluid rider — something that should help him on the 426.
Yamaha’s factory-backed 426 will certainly have a big torque advantage over the 250s (with about the same peak horsepower). If Ferry develops the right technique, he could certainly ride near the front of the 250 class in Supercross this season, and maybe even win a race or two. For those who have watched Tim Ferry’s career, there is a feeling of satisfaction that this hard working kid has finally been rewarded with a 250-class factory ride. Long overdue.