San Fran Practice Report

January 27, 2007 4:55pm

So many stories to track here, where do you even start? We have Fuel Gate, part four in a series, we have the possibility of rain and mud, and we have the return of Ricky Carmichael to the series. Let’s take it one by one:

            Wey is bummed seeing his podium finish from last week taken away from him, for a privateer that’s big bucks and big points (Wey drops from 4th in the AMA standings to outside of the top ten). However, the season-ending top privateer award is based on the FIM WSXGP Standings, and at the moment, there has not been a decision as to if those standings will change as a result of the gas penalty. The FIM’s John Gallagher said he needs more time to assess the situation, since the AMA penalty only came out on Thursday.

            Wey, by the way, used the same gas from the same can in Phoenix (where he passed the fuel test). Jason Thomas is also bummed, but he’s not sure if something can’t be done to fix the ruling. However, this item can’t be appealed, and, unlike last year’s Ricky Carmichael ruling, where the issue came down to lead content and was ultimately reversed due since the FIM and AMA lead limits differ, the AMA’s Ken Rodgers said this is a completely different issue. This infraction involves oxygen content and specific gravity. That should make the chances of getting the decision reversed much slimmer.

            The other rider penalized, Josh Hill, just seems too happy-go-lucky to be bothered by the whole situation.

            For even more info on all of this, check Steve Bruhn’s Weekend Window blog.

            Okay, but how is the weather? It rained a bit onto the track yesterday, and then the crew covered it with plastic, but some rain had already gotten into it. And of course when they finally pulled the tarps back up this afternoon, some more water ran off of the plastic and spilled onto the track. Still, it was dry enough for good riding, but now it’s raining again (4:30) pm and there’s a good chance that more rain is coming. In other words, it’s not a mud race yet, but it could be. So far, everyone can jump the typical jumps and the lap times are quick. And, often, predictions of mud races turn out to be untrue.

            Then you have the return of the Stewart v. Carmichael battle. They exchanged fast laps throughout the one practice session they had (the first practice was cancelled to keep the track covered). They went back and forth until Carmichael snuck in on his next-to-last lap to lay down a 44.1, which edged Stewart’s 44.2. Chad Reed was third, about a second off of RC’s time.

            Ryan Villopoto was fastest of the 250F crew.

            David Vuillemin has discovered he has a cracked rib from his Phoenix crash, but he’s still a go. Travis Preston is back out there as well.

            Pick your story and enjoy the show tonight, because there is a lot going on here in San Fran. Be sure to check out TFS’ Weekend Window for more updates, read this author’s incredibly awesome and amazing blog at, listen to the live webcast at and watch the TV show tomorrow on CBS at noon EST and 9 am PST. Can you get enough supercross?

            Nearing 5 pm and it stopped raining. For the moment.