Good afternoon and welcome to the final round of the 2011 supercross season. Temperatures here in Las Vegas are in the low 90s, but should taper off to the mid 80s by the time the night show begins. The warm temperatures are drying the track out quickly, and the track crew has been busy working water into the dirt in order to prevent a total dust bowl.
The first turn is a 90-degree left-hander that leads directly into Monster Alley and the longest straightaway on the circuit. There is also a sand section that consists of two small jumps with a larger jump in the middle. So far all of the guys are doubling and singling out, although during track walk, several riders were discussing the possibility of tripling it by wheel tapping the middle jump. The whoops are monstrous again, but for the most part, they are the same height and are equally spaced. Thanks mainly to Monster Alley, which exits the stadium before looping back in, the track is pretty long, and lap times are substantially longer than what we’ve seen at the other venues.
Justin Barcia kicked off the first timed eastern regional session by setting a fast lap time of 1:07.039, but Sipes wasn’t far behind with a 1:07.091. Wilson looked smooth, and briefly held the fastest lap with a 1:05.158, only to see rival Barcia reclaim the fastest time with a 1:04.564. When it was over, Ryan Sipes had set the fastest lap with a 1:04.464, followed by Barcia (1:04.564), Malcom Stewart, (1:04.786), Wilson, (1:05.133) and Blake Baggett (1:05.199).
Barcia and Sipes were fast again right out of the gate in the second session, but Malcom Stewart held the fastest time for a good portion of the session. Sipes turned it up at the end though, and laid down the fastest lap with a 1:03.612. Stewart followed with a 1:04.423, then Wilson (1:04.812), Barcia (1:04.825), and Baggett (1:05.373).
Next up were the western regional Lites riders. Cole Seely’s 1:05.429 lap was briefly the fastest, but Kyle Cunningham quickly edged him with a 1:05.154. Broc Tickle was in the mix with a 1:05.303, while Eli Tomac waited for a few laps to lay down a fast time. When he did, he was just a tick off of Tickle’s time with a 1:05.303. When the session ended, Kyle Cunningham was fastest with a 1:04.464. Interestingly enough, his time was identical to his DNA Shred Stix Star Racing Yamaha Teammate Sipes. Seely was second (1:04.825), then came Tickle (1:05.058), Ken Roczen (1:05.240), Tomac (1:05.330) and Josh Hansen (1:05.361).
When the western regional Lites riders came out for the second time, Tomac tried out a new line in a section where everyone else was double-doubling. Tomac intentionally overshot the landing, cased into the face of the second double and bounced over the landing. The line seemed to work for him, and he held the fastest lap for the majority of the session, although Tickle and Roczen briefly topped the board as well. But just as he did in the first practice, Cunningham would log the fastest time, a 1:04.738, at the end of the session. Tomac followed with a 1:04.229, then Tickle (1:05.077), Seely (1:05.101), Martin Davalos (1:05.219), and Roczen (1:05.268).
When the supercross class came out, Chad Reed quickly busted out a fast time of 1:03.811. A few laps later Dungey would best it with a 1:03.266, but Reed quickly retaliated with a 1:02.963, which was the fastest lap of the session. Dungey took second with a 1:03.267, then Justin Brayton (1:03.381), Davi Millsaps (1:03.417), Kevin Windham (1:03.652) and Ryan Villopoto (1:03.686). James Stewart’s times turned a few heads in this session, but not because they were fast. It was the opposite. Stewart’s fastest time was a 1:04.273, which put in him tenth fastest.
Stewart busted out the speed for the second session when he logged a 1:02.674, but it was Kevin Windham whose 1:02.469 would be fastest. Windham said that his opening ceremony lane transfer was the only thing on his mind during the session, and that he wasn’t even thinking about setting the fastest time. Stewart’s time put in him second, followed by Dungey (1:02.936), Brayton (1:02.965), (Reed 1:03.269), Millsaps (1:03.484) and Ryan Villopoto (1:03.676).
So how about Windham, nailing the fastest lap of all? In a night where everyone is looking for potential spoilers, Kevin could be the one.
We've got a jam packed night tonight, with two Lites mains (each crowning champions), the East West Shootout and the SX Class finale. Make to stay tuned to www.racerxonline.com and follow us on Twitter (@racerxonline) to catch all of the action from the finale in Las Vegas.