Phoenix Practice Report

Phoenix Practice Report

January 11, 2014 7:50pm

Ryan Villopoto appears back on his game after a recording only a so-so night (by the standards of a three-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion) last week in Anaheim. He told us he made bike changes so obvious that anyone looking at the bike should be able to tell (however, our always-clued-in group could not tell what they were, at all). He then recorded the fastest lap times in both timed practices today. When the champ is rolling, it could be bad news for the competition, much like it was the past few seasons.

Justin Barcia is glued to the list of would-be Villopoto challengers, though, as he was ultra-fast most of the day and held the top lap time through most of the final timed session. Barcia looked fast everywhere just like he did last week, and he was one of only a few riders jumping over the entire sand pit, using the wall jump in front of it as a launch pad. He’s aggressive and attacking as always, with a better start than last week he could be the man.

Justin Barcia was darned fast and mixed it up with Villopoto for the fastest 450 time.
Cudby photo

Of course don’t forget last week’s winner Ken Roczen who was right in the mix on times, fourth in the final session, and Ryan Dungey who was third. Also JGR’s Justin Brayton was on the gas and was especially strong in the tricky triple-triple-triple rhythm section that claimed a few riders earlier. Brayton was fifth fastest. Just two tenths of a second separated the top five. Then came Tickle, James Stewart, Weimer, Hahn and Reed. If you're looking for some sleeper contenders, we'd pick Brayton and Tickle, who looked very fast and smooth throughout the day. As for Chad Reed, don't put much stock in that lap time. He always picks it up at race time.

Go HERE to read the 450 lap times

Stewart crashed in the final session, clipping a jump and riding the front wheel up a berm before finally going down in a big endo. He took a pretty big hit but it could have been worse, and he got up okay. The bike was not, though, so that ended James’ final practice session early.

In the 250s, Dean Wilson looks determined to re-establish himself after a rough week leading into Anaheim. He was fast and aggressive all day, and battled last week’s winner, Jason Anderson for the top times in both sessions. Zach Osborne then jumped into the mix in the final session, leading most of the way, until Wilson swooped in on the last lap to take the top spot. Then, seconds later, Anderson came in and took the top spot from Wilson! It’s that close in the 250s, and don’t forget about riders like Cole Seely, Cooper Webb, Justin Hill and Darryn Durham, who also looked strong.

Go HERE to read 250 lap times.

Racing starts at 7:30 mountain time.