St. Louis SX Morning Report

St. Louis SX Morning Report

April 9, 2011 2:40pm
We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty here in Monster Energy SX. Four races to go, five riders in the hunt, and St. Louis, the city which has hosted some of the wildest races in the history of this series, sitting straight ahead. All of the contenders have arrived to the Edward Jones Dome healthy and ready, and the track features the classic loamy STL soil and a tricky, technical layout. Sounds like just about the right recipe for another dramatic night.

The track features a long start straight and an open first turn. Things will get tricky in the second turn, a 180 right hander which leads to a super deep set of whoops. The good news is, a rider who doesn’t get a good start will probably be able to slide inside and make a run through the whoops and make up ground. Don’t be surprised to see one of the top contenders enter the first turn way back, and suddenly be up into the top five by the end of the second turn.

The first rhythm lane showed off two options in the untimed first session. Ryan Dungey experimented by doubling though the middle and tripling out of the end. But most of the faster 450 riders tripled through the middle and doubled out. The take off for that center jump is low and short, so the riders really have to pop up over it to triple. Haven’t seen the Lites riders get it down yet.

From there the riders hit a 180 left, a simple set of jumps and a big triple, then make a 90 degree left. Riders have a few options through the jumps here, the goal is probably to find a way to go on-off of the last tabletop instead of jumping all the way over. But no one has figured out how to get there yet.

Then it’s another 90 degree left, a big triple and a longer, faster whoop section which features a short dragon back at the end. Hasn’t been causing any problems though. From there is a 180 left and a rhythm lane with six jumps. Most riders double double double, but Ryan Villopoto tried going inside, rolling, doubling and tripling out. Then comes a 180 degree right hander in the finish line. If you include the finish line turn that hooks to the start, the track features four good 180 bowl turns for passing.

In injury news, Muscle Milk Toyota Yamaha’s Justin Brayton tried to ride practice but wasn’t able to go. He crashed hard last week and hurt his back, and he will miss tonight’s race.

Justin Barcia is still struggling with his bad wrist, but he managed to squeeze in two days of testing this week and has a new setup that he says will help him in the whoops. He also says he’s racing to win, not to count points.

Timed practice is coming up next. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @racerxonline for all the updates.