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Dylan Ferrandis finished second in the Pro Motocross standings. (Stephen Hopkins photo)

Ferrandis Revives SMX Title Hopes With zMAX Podium

Dylan Ferrandis isn’t sugarcoating the fact his Monster Energy AMA Supercross campaign was less than ideal.

“It was bad,” the Frenchman stated bluntly.

However, while he struggled to crack the podium at the opening rounds, his subsequent lack of results wasn’t entirely in his control.

The Star Racing Yamaha rider was taken out of contention four rounds into the season after suffering a concussion during the main event at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, in early February. Before that, his best finish had been fourth.

It was nearly four months before the No. 14 Yamaha appeared back on the gate, which was for the opening round of AMA Pro Motocross in late May.

Much to Ferrandis’ relief, there was redemption on the road ahead as he quickly began to regain his old form during the grueling summer circuit. During his outdoor campaign, the 2021 motocross champion only finished outside the top five at two of 11 rounds.

But despite ending up second in the motocross standings — runner-up to rookie Jett Lawrence, who swept all 22 motos — Ferrandis was hesitant heading into the three-race SuperMotocross World Championship playoff stretch.

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The SuperMotocross podium at zMAX Dragway: Chase Sexton (center), Ken Roczen (left) and Dylan Ferrandis. (Feld Motor Sports, Inc. photo)

“I always knew deep inside that I still know how to go fast and fight for wins, but when you haven’t done it in a while, you never know,” Ferrandis said.

It also didn’t help that he had crashed during the Pro Motocross finale, two weeks prior to the start of SMX, and the ensuing soreness kept him from his regular training schedule.

“It was just the worst scenario,” Ferrandis said. “If you’re a rider like Jett (Lawrence) that ends up winning the championship and are fresh physically, it’s easy. But for me, it was tough. I had to fight the soreness and train a little last minute.”

The 29-year-old arrived at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., for last Saturday’s playoff opener with his fingers crossed, eager to reinstate himself as a contender but skeptical about his ability to make it happen.

“I wanted to prove that I could still ride the Supercross section on the SuperMotocross track,” Ferrandis admitted. “And that’s what I did.”

With a 2-4 moto performance at zMAX Dragway, the No. 14 rider surprised himself by placing third overall in the 22-rider field, ending the weekend on a high note with his trip to the podium.

“For me — for my personal health, I would say — it was a good surprise,” Ferrandis said. “I was not very optimistic for this championship, especially after a long season, but I did better than I expected.”

While he still has his reservations about the remaining SMX rounds, the Frenchman’s wide smile at zMAX Dragway was encouraging, as he appeared freshly motivated to go to battle at round two at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Saturday.

“When you put your goggles on, you just forget about everything and you try to win,” Ferrandis concluded.

With his third-place performance at round one, Ferrandis moved from fifth to fourth in the SMX standings —  13 points behind leader and zMAX Dragway event winner Chase Sexton.