How many times have you heard Ricky Carmichael say “I rode my hardest, but I just got beat”? Not too often. This is just what Carmichael said, however, after the first moto at Unadilla, New York last Sunday. Carmichael (Kawasaki) had been caught and passed by Tim Ferry (Yamaha) on his big YZ426F.
Ferry not only took the lead, he pulled away from Carmichael to a comfortable victory. Carmichael had no excuses (one of the many things we like about RC). Ferry simply passed and pulled away from the fastest motocross rider in the world.
Not too bad for a long-time privateer drafted by Team Yamaha last year to fill in for the injured Jimmy Button. Frankly, Unadilla isn’t the first track where Ferry has looked like the fastest, most consistent rider this year.
Unlike last year, Ferry has had plenty of offers for the 2002 season, but has decided to remain with Team Yamaha. It is easy to see why the other teams want him. He is the fastest four-stroke rider in the U.S. right now, and several Yamaha competitors (not just Honda and KTM) are expected to field a four-stroke MX bike next year.
Although Carmichael has a sizeable points lead in the AMA 250cc Outdoor National Motocross Championship (39 points) and is probably on his way to yet another championship, expect Ferry to hound him the rest of the season, and beat him on occasion. Ferry is for real, and he seems to get faster every week as he learns the subtle four-stroke skills after a career spent on two strokes. Next year, Ferry would have to be one of the favorites for the outdoor title.