With perfect weather, the AMA Motocross Lites class took to the RedBud track for timed qualifying and practice on Saturday afternoon, with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and SoBe No Fear/Samsung Mobile Honda’s Josh Grant setting the pace early. Each class gets two practice sessions, and that’s when the hype started.
Missing from the second practice was Ben Townley, who was sitting second in the championship hunt, 14 points behind Villopoto. Journalists started scrambling, trying to find out where BT101 was. Word soon started circulating that he was taken to a local hospital after experience severe abdominal pains. The symptoms mimicked those of an appendicitis, but there was no confirmation. In fact, it wasn’t till early Sunday morning that we realized it wasn’t as serious as first thought, and Townley rode the second practice, and as we all know, “gutted” out a 2-2 for second overall.
But a rider who wasn’t as lucky is Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey. As the second practice got underway, there was a violent crash on the downhill ski jump after the start. It turned out to be Dungey, who was sitting third in points. According to some witnesses, Dungey came off the jump sideways and was unable to straighten the bike out. You can see footage of the crash on The Racer X Motocross Pre-Show. It was a very hard impact which knocked Ryan unconscious. Although Ryan wasn’t badly injured, it was enough to force him to sit out Sunday’s main event.