Amp’d Mobile Supercross returns to the East, and it might mean big changes at the front of this series, because Ricky Carmichael seemed to have some extra speed here that he didn’t have out west. He was fastest in both practice sessions, and his fastest lap in session two was nearly seven tenths of a second faster than James Stewart. Is it the East Coast terrain? Has Ricky changed something on his machine? Or is Stewart just waiting? We’ll see.
Meanwhile there is Chad Reed, who is losing the pace he seemed to be closing in on a few weeks ago. There’s a really tricky rhythm section here, and a few of the riders have been able to go triple-triple-triple through it. But it’s really tough and no one was able to land the third triple consistently. Stewart, Carmichael and Ivan Tedesco got through a few times, but Reed never did. He only logged the fourth fastest time in both practice sessions. Michael Byrne was third fastest in session one and Tedesco was third fastest in the second session. Reed was nearly two seconds slower than Carmichael in their fastest lap in the second session. Uh oh.
But there’s plenty of excitement in the Lites, too, since this is the kickoff for the East Region Lites Championship. Broc Hepler is out with a broken foot, but Makita Suzuki hopes he’ll be back in a few weeks. It’s a bummer, because the team said he was looking really strong during the last few weeks of testing.
Davi Millsaps looked like the man to beat, putting in the fastest times in both practice sessions, and by nearly a second each time. Millsaps just has ridiculous skills on a supercross track. There are times that he will jump things or blow through the whoops so fast that it almost looks like an accident. Once he learns to put it altogether, he could be unstoppable in this class. But, he looked that fast last year, too, and came up short of a championship. Josh Hansen was one of the riders ahead of him in points, and he looked okay, but not blazing fast, this afternoon.
There are a lot of fast kids in this group, like Josh Grant, Matt Walker and Branden Jesseman. All have had great flashes of speed out here.
Millsaps, by the way, has some plans for racing a 450. You’ll have to listen to the pre-race show on the Supercross Live! webcast tonight to hear them. Remember, it’s www.supercross.cc.com.
That will do it. TV is on tomorrow at 1:30 pm EST on CBS. Don’t watch that NASCAR race thing. Tune into real racing instead.