Australian Dean Ferris has given a resolute vote of confidence to Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings’ bid for glory at the 10th round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in August.

The MX2 World Champion is set to contest the race at Unadilla in New York as a wild-card and during the break in the Grand Prix calendar created by the cancellation of the Ukrainian fixture.

Ferris, back in Europe and competing as a replacement for Tyla Rattray in the Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna team, was asked his opinion of Herlings’ chances given that the 2013 Belgian GP winner has been based in the U.S. since the end of last year.


“I personally think that Jeffrey is going to smoke ’em,” he said. “We’ll see…but I hope so!

“He shows good speed here and unfortunately did not race the Nations last year because I think he would have run away with Tomac and Roczen [in the battle for MX2 class supremacy] for sure.

“Hopefully he will do it. I will also be there for the last three Nationals so it would be nice if we could both be on the podium.”

Ferris has not had the easiest of times in the AMA after a bout of an energy-sapping virus and then a broken wrist largely marginalised his role as part of the Red Bull KTM team alongside Marvin Musquin in 250MX and SX.

He was offered the chance to represent Kimi Raikkonen’s IceOne team – with whom he raced in 2012 – with a view to a full-time GP return next year.

“It was a surprise for me and I didn’t know this could be an option,” Ferris revealed. “I was talking with Roger [De Coster] about getting ready to ride the Nationals when he mentioned this opportunity.

I think they [KTM] picked up on the fact that I wanted to be back here for 2015. It was no-brainer and immediately said ‘yes’ to come back here and be in front of the teams to try for a deal for 2015. I’ve only been here a week and ridden the bike for four days so it was not much time to get set-up.”

The former MX2 star has recovered from the problems that dogged his attempt at the American series’ and took 13th place in his very first MXGP moto at Uddevalla.

“I started riding a month ago but I’ve had no pain and been able to do long motos,” he said before the Swedish GP. “It is great to be back in familiar territory. This is my first motocross race in nine months. I could not have done any more training off the bike but race fitness is another thing.”

For the next four weeks Ferris will continue to steer Rattray’s FC350 machine as the South African recovers from thumb surgery. Sweden was #111’s first foray with the 350cc motor. “Immediately when I started testing it I felt comfortable,” he remarked. “It was a matter of getting the suspension sorted and quite quickly I was riding it like a 350 is supposed to be ridden with the revs and everything. It is a nice bike and easy transition from the 250.”