A3 Practice Report

February 4, 2006 4:11pm

It’s not raining here in Anaheim. The riders and teams have all had a chance to regroup from last week’s mudder, and we’re back to business as usual: a virtual dead-heat on speed between Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart. Oh wait, that was the case even in the mud last week! Will nothing stop these two?

Apparently not. RC and Bubba were within tenths in each lap of practice, with Carmichael logging the fastest time in the second session by about two tenths. But Stewart’s second-best time was about two-tenths faster than RC’s second best, so it’s anyone’s guess between these two. Chad Reed is just fractions behind them, a little over a half second on average.

Stewart looks really relaxed and happy. He even brought his new girl to the track: a female pig he named Dashiki. The Stewart camp appears to be enjoying this title run and not, at least so far, letting the pressure get to them.

The track here features a lot of switchback turns – there are 10 turns altogether, which is more than most supercross tracks which usually feature eight or nine. The extra 180-degree corners should open up some passing opportunities. The whoops are very, very shallow and most riders are just blasting over them. There is also a sand section. This should mix things up a bit, but chances are all of the riders will just say, “you need to get a good start” just like they always do.

In the Lites, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit boys are on fire, with Grant Langston and Ryan Villopoto setting the pace in practice. Villopoto looks awesome – even more aggressive than he has so far in his impressive rookie season. But Langston is even faster on the watch.

That’s it from here – be sure to check out the Supercross Live! webcast tonight starting at 7 p.m. Pacific (10 p.m. on the East). The Supercross class TV show will air on Speed tomorrow after two-straight weeks on CBS. The show airs at 2:00 p.m. Pacific and 5 p.m. Eastern, and if you miss it for the Super Bowl, it will re-air Thursday at 7:00 p.m. on Speed.

Savor these moments. We haven’t had a supercross chase this close in a long, long time, so enjoy it.