After a rough start to the 2022 season, Dylan Ferrandis rode smooth and under the radar to finish third at San Diego in the 450 class of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.
“Everything has led to improvements,” Ferrandis said after the race. “First round, we had rear brake issues. Oakland was better on the track, and this weekend, having a better start helped me a lot. We showed what we are capable of with Yamaha, and what we are capable of on the track during the main event with a good start.
“We proved that with two bikes on the podium; that’s what we can do.”
Last year’s 450SX Rookie of the Year struggled in the opening two rounds. A combination of bad starts, poor gate selections and just overall lack of pace held Ferrandis to a 16th place finish in Anaheim 1. He was able to make a climb to sixth overall last weekend at Oakland, so Saturday night’s podium in San Diego is another milestone of good progress for the Star Yamaha rider.
“When you are P16 after the first round (in 2022), it’s tough,” Ferrandis declared. “I had to put my head down, change some stuff on the bike to improve, and that put us in a better position today. When you have bad results, you have to find solutions.”
One would say that Ferrandis already earning a podium could be dangerous this early in the season. The 450 class has seen three different winners in the first three races, including a first-time winner with Chase Sexton. That has kept the championship points extremely tight early in the season with the top eight positions separated by just seven points.
But despite having a dominating 2021 season in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship with a podium finish every race, Ferrandis earned his one and only Supercross podium at the second race of the ‘21 schedule at Houston 2. After that, he only amassed three top-five finishes – two of them coming in the final two races of the year at Salt Lake City.
“If I had a holeshot tonight, I would have felt comfortable. I haven’t led in Supercross yet. When you’re going for your first win, it’s not easy to stay calm and really charge. I would have to get this 450 dialed in to get there. I felt that all during last season. I think I’m capable of (a win), but right now, it’s just getting better starts.”
The early struggles haven’t been just on his side though. Veteran teammate Eli Tomac also earned his first podium as well, standing on the opposite side of the sophomore rider. Both feel they finally found the speed, but know they have a lot of work ahead. The first two tracks of Anaheim 1 and Oakland proved to be very technical, whereas San Diego relied highly on maintaining momentum through the various turns, rhythm sections and one of the longest whoops sections on the schedule.
“We were a little surprised how bad we were at A1,” stated an honest and reflective Ferrandis. “So we tried a lot of stuff during the week and tonight was way better for Eli (Tomac) and myself. But we also know that we need to work even more to get a consistent good start.”
Tomac takes the red plate to Anaheim 2 with Ferrandis only 14 points back. If Tomac has a struggle of a day this upcoming weekend that Ferrandis had earlier in the month, they could very easily swap spots in the point standings. And that is very much so in the back of every rider’s mind.