Red Dog- A Career in Pictures.
By:
Steve

With Tim Ferry being injured and not busy training or riding, I thought it'd be fun to do this. Plus now he takes my calls. I tracked some old photos down and got him to tell the story. I scanned a couple of my own pictures and offer up some stories as well. I like when the magazines do this (RXI-Dowd, TWMX-Lechien and Bailey) so I thought I would copy them and do it here. Only we don't have page counts! Thanks to Cox, Cudby, Stone, Matt Ware for helping me out and getting nothing for it.

 "This was 1992 Loretta Lynns, check out my blue rims and Yokohama tires. RRP just brought the bike to the race, I was kind of a big deal (laughs). In 1990 I won both my youth classes and Yokohama gave me a free trip to Japan to go race, it was cool because we actually bought tires that year. Then they picked me up for a couple of years after that, they were good sand tires I remember that but I probably didn't know much either. I have worn Scott goggles every year that I've ever ridden except for four years when I wore Smith and then went back to Scott. I'm really skinny here and you could change those Fox logos on the boots and that rubber on the Bell helmet used to come off all the time. Paint job by No Limit designs and no grippy seat either.  No knee braces either. I have all the LL bibs and trophys somewhere and maybe some gear also, at this point I've raced for so long that I can't display everything I have." Photo RXI Archives


 

 "That's 1993 and I'm riding for RRP Yamaha here. Looks like a Dunlop 752 on the back and look how slow I'm going, I'm not even spinning the tire! This might be at Glen Helen and that one moto format day when it was 110 degrees. Man, I look really tired, look how my body is one way and my head is the other, I'm not exactly a picture of fitness here. This is me being a seventeen year old kid in his second year of pro racing. I was a Fox guy for three years and I think I made $2000 from them for the year! Check out the bicep guards that I left on when everyone else was taking them off, this was the day of no gear guys so I wore whatever I had, hence the mismatching gear. I didn't wear Fox boots because I was in with Sidi and they were a good sponsor for me." Photo RXI Archives


 

 "This is 1995, first year of factory Suzuki and still wearing Sidi's with UFO gear who paid me $6000 to wear it. This bike was pretty much unbelievable if you ask me, they had three motor settings for us to choose from and we had to pick one. Two of them were good enough to ride anywhere then there was one amazing one. That bike was awesome, it handled good and I won a bunch of motos on it and some supercrosses also. Then I broke my jaw at Troy later that summer. My 1997 bike, I'd rather not talk about. My look is ok, from '93 to now I was kind of ragged. The UFO gear was cool, they were the first ones to make the polyester jerseys and they never stained or anything but dude, this bike was awesome! I know someone that had this bike and I'm going to get it from them one day. They sent us stock bikes to practice on, it was a different time for sure. Man, that number plate is huge. Lee Mcollumn was my mechanic at Suzuki and when I first got there, I had never met him and then we flew to Japan, he introduced himself. But he never said that he was my mechanic though! Then we got to the track and started working on my bike so I figured this dude was my guy." Photo RXI Archives



 

 "This year (1999) was your first as my mechanic. I was kind of over it before getting picked up by Chapparral, I went from a factory rider winning a championship to out of a job and struggling to make the mains. I think I made $20,000 in salary and never got paid a dime of it. We had that crappy box van (Matthes note-He didn't have to drive it across the country!) and we had no money. I rode pretty good though, got top privateer and made the podium in Indianapolis as a complete privateer." Matthes note- This was Minneapolis sx and because it was -20 outside, everyone was in their trucks or underground in the pits so that's the reason all those people are watching me change a clutch like I'm some sort of rare monkey in a zoo. That bike looked sweet and I remember I had a real cone pipe that I would make look brand new every race until it was so hammered Timmy made me put a stamped pipe on. We weren't factory but that pipe looked it!) Photo by Jason Matthes

 

 "Ahhh, the infamous Summercross. I have the sweet Bieffe helmet on and this was my first supercross with Chapparral. This bike was really, really good and when I got on it I became a better rider. In practice the day before there was a triple that was about 80 feet long and I didn't know how hard to hit it. Our truck driver filmed me overjumping it, whiskey throttling and launching off the next double. My bike was a yardsale (Matthes note-We changed subframe, seat, shock shaft was bent,swingarm, bars and triple clamps) and I didn't know if I could race the next day. I was so sore from the crash! This was by far the most amount of money I ever won ($25,000) and it felt like I won Christmas...I wasn't even making that much salary. When I think of this race I think of you jumping in that pool from the high diving board after the race (Matthes note-I said that if Ferry won I would do it, never thinking he would actually beat MC that night. I had to scale a 12 foot high fence and when I jumped in his goggles were on my neck and the force of the water pushed the goggles up almost broke my nose. Good times.) and the fact that I beat the King." Photo by Cudby
 


 

 "This was 2000 when you were there with Kelly Smith and the whole KTM crew. I remember that when my mechanic Dave Dye quit at the beginning of '99, he set me up with you and said 'Oh, you'll know him' and I was picturing a different guy. Dave also said you were the greatest guy but I wondered why if you were great, you were in Germany working. When I went to LAX to pick you up, I didn't know who you were when you came up to me. I pretended pretty good though. (Matthes note- I was over there working for a team and looking to get out. When I got a pager message that Noleen was looking for me to work for Ferry I called them and said I was in but left out the small part of me being in Germany at the time. I caught a flight and went straight to Anaheim for practice all jet-lagged and burnt out. I didn't care, I had to escape Germany bad). Then I remember you were late for the next race in Tampa and I almost missed practice! (Matthes note- I was late leaving California and had to drive across country in two days and almost died 73 different times trying to make it the the stadium for Friday). I was waiting in the parking lot and you were nowhere to be found and it was the first race that you really built the bike and everything and I was like, great this guy is a flake.
Also this year when you were fired from Chapparral, they gave me your Mazda truck, that was funny. (Matthes note- No it's not.) You were probably talking to your now wife and I was trying to do something to do, I don't know." (Matthes note- I was all set to work for Ferry in 2000 and Chapparral had me building the bike for testing then super late in the season, they said they couldn't afford my whopping salary. I got really screwed and was pretty bitter because it had nothing to do with my ability, just a team trying to save money. Almost all the teams were full and I was lucky to get a KTM job that next year.)


 

 "I went to the MXDN in '03 and we had bad luck. Hughes broke a chain, I crashed three times and it was a one moto format and we lost. One crash I had was epic and I got so lucky that I landed on the backside of a sand whoop or I might still be lying there. It was so cold, Thor gave me all vented gear for some reason and racing that track in that weather, with a torn ligament in my thumb was tough. It's funny to see the Belgium guys or whomever smile on the podium at the last two MXDN's because we got second and it was pretty much the worst day of my life at that point. I don't know how they are so happy. Maybe they are just ok to get second or third but for me, I'd rather have gotten tenth then second. 
You can't even compare the atmosphere between this year and the last two years I went. I remember that someone at Yamaha kinda tried to talk me out of it and I couldn't figure out why but I think they knew the organization was going downhill. The year after this, we didn't even go. I can remember RC calling me in Colorado and asking me if I really wanted to go because he said he had already gone and was leaving it up to me. I said that I did want to go and he said he was in. I thought for sure we were going to win and if a few things had been different, we would've. After this race, I said I'd never go again but when 2007 came up, they assured me that it would be different and nobody would be trying to steal my gearbag or anything like that. Things changed quite a bit after this year and I remember seeing some photos when Tedesco went and I was thinking that it wasn't like that when I went! They were right, everything was way better organized and everything was so much different." Photo by Max Ludwig



 

 Matthes-This is in our little garage area in Zolder Belgium and I've celebrating the fact I put together a motorcycle that actually runs. The thing that I think about it how Team USA was not really a team at this race. Ryno was pitted with KTM in another garage, RC was pitted inside a thirty foot box truck outside a door to my left. We never saw much of DeCoster and after this, USA didn't go for a couple of years. Then everybody got behind it and now when you go, everyone has USA jackets and sings kumbaya together and each team sends over 10 guys. For this race it was me, a suspension guy and another guy. No manager or anything from Yamaha. Also, the security was so bad that Ferry's father in law had to stay behind to protect our stuff while we were out on the track! I remember the waffle cones at the track were really good. It was a goofy one moto format and I'm pretty sure the Belgiums cheated when dudes held their gates for them and they all started on the inside. Ferry tore a ligament in his thumb first lap of the first practice and it was cold and we lost. I'm not bitter at all or anything. Photo by Cory Hutter

 

 "This is 2005 outdoors, Mt Morris coming down the hill after the start. I remember that I was frustrated because at the first national this year, I hit KW when he went down in practice and broke a bone in my hand. I didn't even know it but I had pain from my wrist and then my hand and just thought it was part of the healing process. The bones were out of place in my hand and they were jarring each other all the time, it hurt so bad. I'm wearing a wrist brace here which is weird because I never thought I wore one at the races, I tried everything to make the pain go away, different bar bends, braces, tape jobs, chicken blood-whatever I could. I rode around and we had some DNF's from crashes and bike problems (Matthes note-Nothing my fault, just freak things like an ignition going out and a bearing retainer screw breaking on a brand new motor). I remember my bike breaking last lap at Southwick and that was it for me. I was done. Everything just compounded on top of each other.
Man, braking bumps like this would hurt me bad, landings also. Remember I had my second surgery earlier this year. The main thing I couldn't charge hard, the wrist was unstable and I had to just ride around this season. There was no ligaments left holding everything together." Photo by Steve Cox



 

"You can see my form is a little off here! This was 2005 sx season and Yamaha gave me a choice on what I wanted to ride-2 or 4 stroke and I picked the 2-stroke. I just loved the '04 250 so much that I wanted to give it one more good year on a 2-stroke. I don't think we were all into the 4-stroke phase yet, there was some debate on what was better. I really thought one more year on the 250 was going to work out good but I kicked myself in the ass a bit because Keith (McCarty) wanted me to ride a 4-stroke but I insisted on the 250. Then they went to the aluminum frame and the bike wasn't as good! They changed a lot and it wasn't the same. Chad made it work a little bit but as you know, we tested a ton of different stuff to make it handle better. It's one of those deals where you kick yourself later.
Also, Damon Huffman is the guy I'm stuffing and he was my teammate ten years earlier. You know what? He looks exactly the same today as he did in 1995! He probably thought I was going to put him over the berm here because that was my typical move back then, I was so frustrated at my wrist and not being able to do what I wanted to, that I just so aggravated at everyone. I remember stuffing MC at Phoenix for no reason, he passed me cleanly and I was like 'There's no way a part time guy is going to do that' and I hit him so hard the next turn. I was a real jerk. I gained a lot of weight 'cause I couldn't ride that much and couldn't figure it out." Photo by Carl Stone


 

 "Right about there, it looks like I have really good form. Nobody really took any photos of me this year, I was there and doing good but was kind of in between the guys. I wasn't doing good enough to get really noticed and I wasn't selected to be the slacker guy that gets picked on with photos of them and captions like "Why isn't he doing better?"either. The bike was pretty good once we got it set-up, the thing never failed me and my mechanic Dane never made a mistake that year. Being on a privateer team you don't have access to that many parts but we did the best we could do. I had a lot of fun because there was no pressure on me and if it didn't work out, I was going to quit anyways! I just rode and had fun this year and I got along really well with Alan (Brown, manager) and the only thing that sucked this year was the Moto XXX truck didn't have a bathroom. Look, back with Sidi boots again! I didn't really see anyone this year, like my goggle and gear guy wouldn't come around and then when I got on Kawi, everybody was back on board." Photo by Cudby

 
 

"This was last summer at Southwick. Look at Kurt Rood from Kawasaki back there finding the shade and taking a break from watching. That looks like you in the tower flagging! Man, look at my gear- I look good. I wasn't scared to wear black either, it was the intimidation factor. It was the first weekend that I wore this stuff and it's pretty sick. I have no idea how I did but I know I beat De Reuver! He beat me in the first moto and then in the second he got really tired." Photo by Carl Stone


 

"This is the second race of this years MXDN and it looks like me pulling the holeshot but I overshot the first turn when I went in hot. Remember this is from the 21st pick also, the last two years at the MXDN I've had 21st pick and had to start in the middle of the gate. Anyways, Ryan (Villopoto) is on my inside and comes out ahead of me here, I wasn't sure how slippery it would be so I was careful to not brake that much. It looks like I'm trying to stop but it's not working out so good. My gear is sick here, I saw the No Fear video the other day and I look good if I do say so myself. When I came out of here, I was ok but then there was a huge pile-up in the next right hand turn and I had to go off the track, through the fence, onto the ice pavement or whatever and back through the fence again! That's why I came out so bad, I'm ahead of Byrner here and he came around the second turn way in front of me so that should explain how bad it was. If I would've kept this start, nobody would've been on pins and needles that last moto." (Matthes note-It's ok Timmy, you still saved America in that last moto.) Photo by Carl Stone


 

"And this is pretty much where we stand right now. That bike could still be laying there, I have no idea. I didn't know what happened to my bike, I was just trying to get off the track! I had surgery on my heel and am going to try to make the first national, we'll see". Photo by Steve Cox

 

Comments

Awesome!!

This little photo history expose' was awesome Matthes. Took me back to when I started racing. Man that MXoN Yammie with the US flag on the number plate was fugly!! :)

The article also brought something to my attention; I've never been one to have favorite riders as I typically prefer just awesome racing action but I have to admit Timmy really would be on my short list for a favorite rider, due more than anything to his honesty with being true to himself and his longevity. He's very admirable and it's quite a career to be proud of.

Video of Tim Ferry age 12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM1J0xhmW9E&feature=related

Seems pretty stressed with the mic and camera.