Practice Report: Seattle

Practice Report Seattle

April 12, 2014 8:45pm

The Seattle Supercross’ reputation for mud races can be put aside tonight—there’s not a cloud in the sky and there’s zero rain in the forecast. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy race. The dirt here is soft even when dry, and the track is forming holes, square edges, chop and ruts already. Once the riders are putting in multiple hard laps during the races, it’s going to be really tricky.

The track builders usually know that going in, so they’ll tame the track down just a bit. So while the track doesn’t look very technical, it will end up being that way because of all the holes and such. We saw an example when James Stewart tried to put in a fast lap at the end of the final 450SX practice session, and he cross rutted and ended up jumping off the side of the track. He did catch the dirt on the side of the jump so he could downside it. Many riders have mentioned how difficult it will be to put in clean laps, so the races might really come down to avoiding mistakes as opposed to who will be straight-up fastest.

But if you’re looking for speed, Ken Roczen sure seems to have it. The Red Bull KTM man grabbed the fastest 450 time in both timed sessions. Remember Kenny was very strong here in the 450 class back in 2012, when he nearly won the race. He might be young, but Kenny has always been known for his race smarts in picking lines, and he picked them right throughout the day.

Ryan Villopoto, Stewart, Ryan Dungey and Eli Tomac went top five in overall times. Remember, Ryan Villopoto could wrap up the Monster Energy Supercross Championship tonight if he puts six points on second place Stewart and four points on Ryan Dungey. The Seattle fans would love to see it, but it’s going to be close—certainly Stewart and Dungey are right in the mix tonight.

450 Times
450 Times Photo: Screengrab

In the 250s, Jason Anderson and Dean Wilson looked heads above the rest of the field, swapping the fastest times throughout the day. Wilson ended up fastest overall by just one tenth of a second over Anderson. Dean had a small shoulder injury from a heat race crash last week, so he says he took this week off from riding to let it heal up. The strategy seems to have worked!

Zach Osborne, Cooper Webb and Cole Seely made up the top five overall. Seely is 11 points down from Anderson in the 250 West standings so he needs to make up some ground with only two rounds remaining in that series. Also keep an eye on local product Justin Hill, who came back home and rode at his old track this week. He was sixth fastest. Also in Hill news, Justin’s brother Josh was sixth in the 450 class times, and he busted out a quad in one of the rhythm lanes that no one else did. The last few weeks, Josh has been coming on strong, so we could be looking at a big night for both Hill boys. Combine that with Villopoto’s championship chances, and it could be one to remember for the Pacific Northwest faithful.

250 Times
250 Times Photo: screengrab, yo