Orlando Practice Report

March 18, 2006 1:07pm

Well we’re in Florida which means a home-state advantage for Ricky Carmichael. Or James Stewart. Or Chad Reed. Or any of the riders that live and ride and practice down here, which is just about everybody at this point. So, I guess we’re just racing on neutral turf.

But it doesn’t look that way with Stewart, because he is way out in front on practice times in both sessions. Carmichael was second both times but James was dipping into the 54s while Ricky was running 56s, and everyone else was around 57 and 58.

Except Chad Reed, who cruised around in the first practice and then didn’t ride in practice two – much like he did in Daytona. So take this as an indication that he’s racing but he’s not 100 percent. And he did the same thing in Daytona and still finished second.

Kevin Windham is back as expected. He didn’t look too aggressive out there but got himself into the top ten in lap times in the final session. Who looks good? Mike Byrne, Travis Preston and Tim Ferry (yet another Florida guy) looked fast and had lap times in behind the two other Florida guys out front.

We’ll see how the strategy plays out tonight. Carmichael now has a 26-point lead over Stewart in the AMA Supercross Series, so he may not need to mix it up tonight, seeing as he is nearly two seconds down in the practice lap times.

In the Lites, Josh Grant stepped up and put in the fastest lap in the season session, and in fact he had the second fastest lap, too. Grant was running in the 57s while Davi Millsaps was in the low 58s. Chris Gosselaar was next.

The track here is covered in sand. Last year’s track was a little more hard packed, so the riders look a bit thrown when they came out for the track walk this morning and saw sand everywhere. But someone has figured out how to work it, because it’s not breaking down too badly, and all of the practice sessions are done.

The track doesn’t look too tough, there are a couple or jump sections the riders can do differently, but each way through seems to take up the same amount of time. So a good start would be helpful – just like it has been on every supercross track ever made.

Enjoy the show tonight on www.supercross.cc.com and watch tomorrow at 6 p.m. EST on Speed.