EVAN FERRY: DOG DAYS
Evan Ferry has had a lot of eyes on him since making his racing debut with the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team last year at the Monster Energy Cup, fiercely battling his way to the win in the Supermini class. The young Floridian has always been known as the son of the former professional racer and perennial front-runner, Tim Ferry, but Lil Red dog is beginning to make quite the name for himself. He won another title at Mini Os and landed on the overall podium at Spring A Ding Ding, finishing no worse than 4th overall between both races. His well-tempered balance of speed and consistency has currently earned him 3rd place overall in the Supermini 1 Dirty 100 rankings as well as 5th overall in the Supermini 2 division. We caught up with Evan to chat about how he's been biding his time until racing starts back up, what he likes to cook the family for breakfast, and his ideal motocross video game.
How much has the coronavirus affected what you do in terms of riding and training on a day-to-day basis?
I think it's almost helping more than it's actually hurting me. I'm staying well-rested so when I go and I ride it's actually good riding. I'm not tired and I'm actually learning something, really thinking about what I'm doing when I'm riding. I've been doing a lot of endurance-based bike rides on our mountain bikes, we'll go up and down the road. We kind of live in the middle of nowhere really and there are honestly a lot of big hills which is kind of weird. We'll go climb a lot of the hills and when we're done maybe we'll ride pit bikes, swim, or do whatever to just get our base endurance up. I've actually been feeling really good health-wise.
What have you been doing with all of this extra free time you've had to keep yourself occupied?
Yeah, you know, I wake up in the morning and brush my teeth, make everybody breakfast, and then do some stuff for school. It depends on if I'm riding that day or not, I've definitely cut down riding a lot honestly. I haven't ridden in probably like four days now, I'm trying to do a lot of school and catch up on that. That's honestly about it...playing some video games, streamed a little bit last night. Oh, and we've been doing a bunch of bicycle rides.
So you're the chef at the Ferry household?
For sure with breakfast. I can make burritos or kind of like just a bowl with bacon, egg, and cheese...or I can make it ham or sausage. That's about it. I mean, I can do french toast and stuff like that but that's a little bit harder.
You mentioned you've been taking it easy on the riding lately. This is a weird situation for you guys because you don't want to overdo it and burn yourself out with nothing coming up.
I think honestly the way we've been looking at it is whenever we come back to racing we'll be ready. We're gonna be ready -- it doesn't matter if racing starts tomorrow, we'll be ready. We're kind of trying to come at it like that.
We've seen a lot on social media of you practicing your flips on the trampoline and in the pool, so at least this gives you a little more time to work on that.
Yeah, I kind of took a break from doing flips on the trampoline about a year and a half ago. Two years ago I was really into it and I was lovin' it, but I dunno...I just kind of quit for a little bit. When this whole quarantine stuff started I went back out there a couple of times and just started flipping again and I almost came back better than what I was before which I thought was kind of weird. I started doing flips into the pool and stuff and that's kind of harder than doing it on the trampoline. Honestly, I've been having a lot of fun with that too.
What video games have you been into?
I've been playing a lot of (Mx vs ATV) Reflex, MX Simulator, a little bit of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare here and there. I've played (Monster Energy) Supercross 3 a little bit. Actually, they put my dad in the game for the DLC so I went on that the other day and went and rode as him, so that was pretty cool.
Did you show him his character in the game?
Yeah, I posted this thing on my Instagram story -- it was me taking a video of him on the screen and then he's like passed out on the couch, his eyes are half-open (it was after a long day) and he's just sitting there laid out on the couch. I compared him on the screen to what he was doing right now, so that was pretty funny.
Obviously, everybody's season is on hold right now. It's a little weird not having supercross on Saturday nights and not having any professional sports to watch whatsoever. Has that been strange for you?
Yeah, it's honestly really weird not having the races to watch on Saturday. I'm almost replacing it with MX Simulator. It's really cool 'cause they come out with the exact same track they'd have on Saturday the Wednesday before the race and everything is almost so perfect. You do the same rhythms in the game that they do on Saturday night, so I've almost been replacing that race with a race on there.
What's your favorite moto game if you had to pick one?
Honestly, it's a really hard choice but I know that it would be between MX Simulator and Reflex. I think the world's best dirt bike game that could ever come out would be like a Reflex on the Xbox but have DLC, maybe change the look of the game a little bit, but keep the physics the same. I think that would probably be the best game you can think of but for sure right now I'm going to have to go with MX Simulator because it's the closest you can get to an actual supercross race. I think I've been playing it for six or seven years now, I think it's almost dang near as hard as actually riding a dirt bike on a real note, except the whole crashing factor. But I honestly think it's almost as hard as riding a real dirt bike.
Yeah, the learning curve is pretty insane.
Honestly, it's kind of nuts because some of the fastest dudes you'll ever see on that game; they don't even ride dirt bikes. I don't know how they understand how to even do that, it's pretty nuts.
For sure, there are some people that are just naturally good at video games.
Yeah, sounds kind of like Jalek (Swoll).
Yeah! Your teammate took the win in the General's Cup that the Deegans are putting on and it seemed like he took it more seriously than he takes real racing, so maybe he's going to make the transition to a professional gamer.
Hey, I think he could do it. We were sitting at the dinner table the other night, my mom and my dad were sittin' here and we were all talking about it and they were like "Yeah, he took that interview more seriously and felt way more comfortable doing that than he ever has on the podium at a real race." But yeah, he's definitely really gnarly at all those games.
There are always little nuances and tricks to going fast in all the moto games.
Yeah, I can't quite figure it out on Supercross 3 but I know on Reflex if you go over a jump and you scrub it just a little bit, then you lock the brakes as soon as you get in the air and throw the front end down, it gives you like an extra boost almost. In MX Sim, if you have a certain setup you can overjump something almost as far as you want, or case something, on a supercross track. As long as you land sitting down on the front end and squat at the same time, there are just little things like that really make a difference. Honestly, it's kind of funny because you can kind of do some of those same glitches on pit bikes.
What do you mean?
So like on a Honda 110, you can jump a jump as far as you want and if you land on your back wheel with your front end up high, not smacking the front end down really hard, you can jump like fifty or sixty foot jumps if you want.
We're assuming you've done this at your track then...
Yeah, I have a pit bike track at my house. When this quarantine stuff started, me and my friend William (Crete), he's from Canada and lives out here in his motorhome, were out there riding the pit bike track. There was a backside of this big supercross berm and a jump way off in the distance, so we wanted to see if I could do it and I did that little back wheel trick thing and I look to the right and there's a jump way out in the distance, probably like fifty-five feet. It was a pretty gradual face, like the face was pretty good on the backside of the berm and I'm telling you I don't think I've ever jumped a pit bike that high and that far. It was so sketchy! When I was in the air I was like "that was really dumb," and I was lucky I landed it perfect but I'm pretty sure I blew my forks out, too. Then I jumped it a couple more times and we started jumping it farther; it was at least sixty feet, I mean it was gnarly.
Were you more sketched out on that than you would be jumping something bigger on your supermini?
Honestly, yeah. The only jumps that get me -- not now, I've kind of got used to jumping them -- is the supercross triples. At first, they scared me because I was like "Man, if I case that thing you could break your ankles, arms, wrist." So every time I jump supercross triples I just OJ them, I'll land all the way in the corner. Actually, the first time I've ever jumped one was at my house and I don't know how I did it but I jumped the jump before it and I looked at the landing and I was like "Alright, I think this is about how fast I need to hit it," so I hit it just a little bit faster and I ended up making it alright. Then I came around the next lap and flat landed the thing all the way into the corner, jumped over the berm, and I come around the next lap and ended up casing the thing and blowing my feet off. So I was thinking, what the heck is going on here? Right before Monster Cup, I went to the Husky test track and they have this super big triple right out of a corner. The first time I went to hit it I came out of the corner and I wheelied 'cause I wasn't quite used to the bike yet and how fast it was. I ended up wheelieing into the face of the jump and I boner-aired the whole jump and flat landed it all the way into the corner, it was so funny.
It seems like you've really stepped up your results since signing with the Rockstar Husky team, what helped you step it up to that next level?
Honestly, I don't really know. I moved up to the supermini class really early, I'm kind of the older kid now. I mean, me and a lot of the kids in my class are the same age (15). Everybody thinks that I'm older and I'm 6'0" tall and all this stuff, but I'm only 5'6", so I'm not sure what it is. Maybe I stand up kind of straight when I ride or something. But for sure, I was thirteen years old on a Kawi two years ago at Loretta's and I didn't really do that well. I actually have low blood pressure and we've been trying to get my health under control with that, nothing like bad but we ended up figuring it out after Loretta's last year. I had a horrible Loretta's and something was up with one of my medications. I couldn't even stand up and walk and not feel horrible. It's actually kind of nuts, I couldn't stand up straight for ten minutes without throwing up and passing out. So we figured it out right after Loretta's and then we got the call from Bobby Hewitt and Scuba and we already kind of saw it coming. We had already talked about it and right before Monster Cup they had me come out to the test track and ride, so by then we had it all figured out. Honestly, when I went to Monster Cup I just felt good on the bike and honestly never felt better. I had a pretty good Mini Os and Spring A Ding Ding, I won the first moto by a lot and honestly just had my face in the ground every other moto. I think I crashed in the same corner like three times out of the whole weekend so that wasn't very good. I regrouped and when we went to Freestone and went out to practice I felt really good. I was the last practice right before they canceled it and I knew in my head when I came off the track that it was going to be a good week, so I was kind of mad. It's going to be a long three months, or however long, until we get to race again.
Talk a little bit about the depth of competition in the Supermini class this year and some of those battles you had at Spring A Ding Ding.
Yeah, it's gnarly definitely. I'd say the top six or seven were all pretty close. I think everybody is kind of underestimating how fast we're really going though. We're almost pushing the bikes so far and we're coming into some of the corners so fast that our bikes can't even handle how fast we're trying to go. You see blowin' wheels out, we're honestly going so fast, we're almost going too fast for what the bike can handle. I think everyone's going to need to watch out for us in the top six when we get into the 125 class and get on the bigger bikes.