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Sign of the (Lap) Times: Glen Helen

The 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship kicked off the season right where it left off last September at San Bernardino’s Glen Helen Raceway. The Jody Weisel-designed track again presented riders with one of the gnarliest courses on the circuit, with massive uphills, treacherous downhills, off-cambers, deep sand, gut-wrenching ruts, whoops, hardpack and very big jumps. But enough about the track; we’re here to analyze the lap times in Sign of the (Lap) Times, presented by RXR Protect.

Lites

In all four motos on Sunday, the moto winner turned out to have the fastest time of the race, and that kicked off with Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy’s Jason Lawrence logging a 2:43.412 in Moto 1 on his way to his first career moto win. But the next four riders weren’t too far off his pace. In fact, the top five lap times in this first moto were all separated by a mere .33 seconds! That’s close!

J Law laid down the law in the first moto

In Moto 2 it was the defending champion, Ryan Villopoto, logging the fastest time in the moto (2:42.684), which was faster than that of J-Law’s first moto best lap. Second fastest in both motos was eventual winner Austin Stroupe on his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki. Check out the lap times of the top 20 finishers below:
Pos.
Moto 1
Moto 2
Rider
Bike
1
02:43.694
02:43.201
Kawasaki
2
02:43.740
02:42.684
Kawasaki
3
02:43.412
02:47.751
Yamaha
4
02:43.742
02:43.944
Suzuki
5
02:43.668
02:45.701
Kawasaki
6
02:46.117
02:47.988
Honda
7
02:44.546
02:49.049
Yamaha
8
02:46.441
02:46.846
Honda
9
02:46.446
02:50.308
Honda
10
02:47.115
02:49.837
Kawasaki
11
02:47.414
02:51.375
Andrew McFarlane
Kawasaki
12
02:47.475
02:49.920
Yamaha
13
02:46.375
02:49.971
Suzuki
14
02:46.346
02:50.554
Branden Jesseman
Kawasaki
15
02:47.326
02:48.761
Yamaha
16
02:47.586
02:51.874
KTM
17
02:46.444
02:50.172
Honda
18
02:46.215
02:50.884
KTM
19
02:47.988
02:52.315
Kawasaki
20
02:51.446
02:51.465
Yamaha

Biggest surprise: Scanning the top 10 finishers, the name that really sticks out is Division 7/Star Racing’s Matt Lemoine. The Texas-born rider has been pretty quiet so far in 2008, as injuries and bad luck hampered his supercross season, where his best finish was a 10th in Houston. But he came out blazing at Glen Helen, going 6-9 for seventh overall.

Matt Lemoine rode well inside the top 10


AMA Motocross
As you already know, it was all James Stewart in the 450 class at Glen Helen. Not only did he log a convincing 1-1 tally, Stewart also had the fastest lap times in the class both times out aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki. The closest rider to him was Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Mike Alessi, who finished 2-2 in his return to AMA Pro Racing. Alessi’s lap times weren’t that far off of Stewart, and in the second moto Alessi’s fastest lap was almost three full seconds faster than third place finisher Davi Millsaps. Check out the top 20 below:

Guess who has the fastest 450 lap times?

Pos.
Moto 1
Moto 2
Rider
Bike
1
02:41.242
02:43.124
Kawasaki
2
02:43.581
02:44.835
Suzuki
3
02:44.475
02:47.304
Honda
4
02:44.811
02:47.707
Kawasaki
5
02:44.883
02:50.042
Honda
6
02:47.694
02:51.096
Suzuki
7
02:46.549
02:49.627
Sean Hamblin
Yamaha
8
02:47.967
02:50.262
Cody Cooper
Suzuki
9
02:48.531
02:50.922
KTM
10
02:47.057
02:50.648
Honda
11
02:48.173
02:51.077
Honda
12
02:47.385
02:52.262
Honda
13
02:44.773
N/A
Honda
14
02:44.249
N/A
Ben Townley
Honda
15
02:48.792
02:51.551
Kawasaki
16
02:50.109
02:51.260
Jarrod Browne
Suzuki
17
02:50.101
02:52.514
David Vuillemin
Suzuki
18
02:52.478
02:51.038
Yamaha
19
02:49.218
02:51.365
Yamaha
20
02:51.026
02:53.477
KTM

Biggest surprise: Again, scanning down through the top 10, the name that jumps out is Sean Hamblin. Or does it? This seems so similar to 2002, when Hamblin came out on a privateer Suzuki and ran in the top 10, gaining the attention of Roger DeCoster and Team Suzuki. Hamblin surely got some looks on Sunday, and stay tuned to Racer X Online later this week for an interview with the Yamaha privateer.

Tuf Racing's Sean Hamblin

Motocross & Supercross News - Racer X Online

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