The first timed 250 session saw Jason Anderson immediately jump to the top of the board, but his time was soon bumped by a charging Ken Roczen’s 59.495 time. Roczen would better his time a lap later, but Ryan Sipes would claim the fast time shortly thereafter with a 58.241. The session was then interrupted when a crash from Killy Rusk brought out a red flag. After Rusk was able to walk away, practice resumed and Eli Tomac went on a rampage that would see the big number one stay on top of the board for the rest of the session. Tomac ended with 57.630, followed by Ken Roczen (57.641), Martin Davalos (58.039), Ryan Sipes (58.241) and Blake Baggett with a 58.432.
Davi Millsaps started his year out right by setting the initial pace in the first 450 qualifier with a 56.855, but it wasn’t long before the number seven of James Stewart jumped to the top, only to be bumped by Ryan Villopoto with a 55.980, a time that would stand for the rest of the session. Josh Hill had a crash in the rhythm section that saw him leave in the Asterisk medical mule as practice drew to a close. His team said that he had slightly tweaked his hand and that he’d be back for the second practice, but when the final qualifier rolled around Hill was nowhere to be seen. We’ll keep you updated on this situation as more information becomes available. Villopoto was fastest with a 55.980, followed by Stewart (56.255), Millsaps (56.855), Ryan Dungey (57.107), Trey Canard (57.342), Kevin Windham (57.378), Chad Reed (57.519), Broc Tickle (57.658), Justin Brayton (58.091), Jake Weimer (58.749) and Justin Barcia(58.812).
The final sessions weren’t too much different than the first. Roczen held the fastest time for several laps before Tomac, who as usual was searching out new lines and attacking the track as if it had stolen his lunch money, rose to the top and set the final fast time of 56.705, followed by Roczen (56.767), Zach Osborne (56.897), Blake Baggett (57.015), and Martin Davalos (57.189).
In the 450 ranks Villopoto was fastest initially until Millsaps knocked him off the top with a 55.917. Then, on his sixth lap, Stewart laid down a 55.401 and promptly exited the track. Elsewhere, Dungey, who is running a trick looking air shock, pulled off into the mechanics area for several minutes so his mechanic, Carlos Rivera, could make adjustments to what appeared to be the shock. We know The Dunge is running a new "air shock" without an external coil spring.
Stewart was fastest with a 55.401, followed by Villopoto (55.551), Millsaps (55.917), Dungey (55.925), Canard (55.945), Barcia (56.359), Short (56.998), Reed (57.066), (Tickle 57.078), Mike Alessi and (57.353).
Be sure to stay tuned to Racer X Online and follow us on Twitter, @Racerxonline, for updates from the opener, all night long. For photos of practice check out our Simon Cudby’s photos from the qualifiers we posted earlier today.