Print this story out and stick it in your pocket, then jump into a time machine and set it back one year. When you arrive in 2006, read the story—you’ll be more surprised by what you read than the fact that you found a time machine to ride back in history with.
Tim Ferry is a genuine threat for the 2007 AMA/Toyota Motocross Championship. He is only seven points behind James Stewart in the point standings. He has also now won his first race since—brace yourself—the opening round of the 2001 AMA 250 Nationals. This is 32-year-old Tim Ferry. Tim Ferry who had been demoted to full privateer status last year. Tim Ferry who many figured—myself included—had been hired by Monster Factory Kawasaki primarily as a test rider.
But Ferry is a racer, and a better racer now at 32 than he has been at any point in his career. Kawasaki bringing Ferry on must be the signing of the century, because he’s sitting there ready to bring the championship home if Kawi’s main man, James Stewart, can’t get healthy enough to get to Glen Helen. Kawasaki Team Manager Mike Fisher knew he was hiring Tim to race and not to test, but even he must be surprised to see Ferry contending for the championship.
Ferry has even surprised himself. At the Washougal press conference he said that although he trained and prepared to win all season, he never expected to do it. But with long-time rival Ricky Carmichael no longer there to steal victories, and Stewart experiencing one set back after another trying to nail the title down, Ferry is there exceeding his own expectations.
“I think this is definitely the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” says Ferry, claiming his Washougal win feels better than any of the wins he had when he was younger. “I’m 32, and people keep thinking I’m going to get worn down. It feels good to prove them wrong.”
He does it every week. After through-the-pack rides to the front at Unadilla, Colorado and Washougal, Ferry has established himself as the strong man of the tour, always there in the closing laps to grab positions, points and even wins. “Normally at this point in the year, it’s a boring season and you’re getting burnt out,” says Ferry. “Right now I feel like I don’t want the season to end.”
It’s going to end in September, and even Timmy’s evergreen status as a racer can’t stop that. But as for his career, it keeps going and going and going—quite possibly right into the National Championship.