Practice is complete here at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, and the hype surrounds tonight’s 250 East and West title battles. For 450s, the only battle left is for second between Davi Millsaps and Ryan Dungey, because Ryan Villopoto has the title locked up. Villopoto was also fastest in 450 practice today. Dungey just edged Millsaps for second fastest.
In 250s, contenders Wil Hahn and Marvin Musquin both tried to put their best foot forward, each flashing up some fast times. Musquin led most of the way in the first timed 250 session, but then Hahn dug deep and launched a flyer on the last lap, taking the top spot away. But now we have a spoiler! In the second session, Tyler Bowers logged the fastest lap to take the first gate pick for tonight’s main event. Bowers, you might remember, came off the couch as a last-minute replacement call for Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, and admitted he wasn’t 100 percent prepared for his first two starts in 250 East. With a two-week break to work coming into this one, he looks fitter and faster. If you’re Musquin, you desperately need someone to get between you and Hahn, and maybe Bowers can do it.
Watch Bowers tonight in 250SX East, he could be the spoiler Marvin Musquin needs to steal some points from Hahn.
Hahn tried pulling a mega-fast final lap again in the second timed session, but he crashed in the whoops right before the finish. A collective gasp went up as the 250 SX East points leader hit the ground. Luckily, he crashed right at the end of the whoops and landed on flat ground instead of auguring into a whoop. He got up holding his hand, but appeared to be okay and rode off. Close call for Wilbur. Still, his time held up as second fastest behind Bowers, with Musquin third.
In 250 West, Ken Roczen looked smooth and fast the whole time, usually hovering at the top spot. His fast time from session one held up as the fastest of all in 250 West. In the final lap of the final session, it looked like Roczen would have fast time again, but Star Racing Yamaha’s Kyle Cunningham jumped into the top spot. Cunningham? Believe it. He’s always fast in Vegas. Cunningham’s fast time in session two was second fastest overall behind Roczen. Martin Davalos, Zach Osborne and Tomac rounded out the top five.
If you need a cheat sheet, the scenario on both coasts is the same: Hahn holds a five-point lead and Roczen holds a five-point lead, but the second-place riders (Musquin and Tomac) both hold tie breakers, if needed. So, if Tomac and/or Musquin makes up five points, the title is/are his/theirs.
The Vegas track is always huge thanks to the Monster Alley that goes outside the building, and that leads to lap times over well over a minute. So these will be long races tonight, plus, you have extra laps, with the traditional 250 heats (normally six laps) replaced by 15 lap mains, and then the East/West Shootout will come later and run for 10 laps.