Welcome to the final supercross practice report of the year, coming to you from the press box in Sam Boyd Stadium in hot and sunny Las Vegas. And when we say hot and sunny, we mean sweltering. Temperatures have been in the upper nineties all afternoon and a steady breeze has been blowing all day, resulting in dirt that loses moisture as fast as the track crew can lay it down between practices. In fact, the wind blew so hard in the morning that more than a few easy ups and tents lost their tops or got mangled in the wind, leaving several privateers in the unenviable position of having no escape from the vicious Vegas sun.
We’ll get into the afternoon practice sessions, but first, a note on Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart. We talked with a member of his team this morning and the word is that his knee is okay. He tweaked it last week and was forced to pull out of the main, but he's been rehabbing it all week and right now things are looking good for the Nationals.
In the first Western Regional 250SX timed practice it was Cole Seely who was fast right away, but it wasn’t long before Jason Anderson took over the top spot. If you’re Seely, who needs to win and have Anderson finish fifth or worse in order to take the championship, setting a slower qualifying time than Anderson is no cause for panic; the TLD Lucas Oil Red Bull Honda rider isn’t known for setting scorching times in practice and typically waits for the night show to turn up the heat. When it was over, Zach Osborne had beat them both, laying down the fastest lap of the session on the final lap.
When the West went out again it was Malcolm Stewart who blazed to the top of the board, over a second faster than anyone else. Five laps in though his session ended when he drifted wide over the finish line jump and crashed hard after landing on some Tuff Blocks. Afterward he said the wind had actually blown him to the side of the track. Fortunately he’s okay. Let’s hope that breeze goes away for tonight’s racing. Anderson would go on to set the fastest time of this session, a 1:09.758.
In Eastern Regional 250SX Qualifying Matt Bisceglia was riding great and spent time at the top of the board in both sessions, but Jeremy Martin would lay claim to fastest qualifier in both outings. Kyle Cunningham, who always goes fast here, was also fast, qualifying third fastest overall. Bogle was second fastest overall, but had a couple crashes in the second session that seemed to shake him up a little.
When the big boys hit the track Stewart and Ryan Villopoto took turns trading fast laps, but as the qualifier started drawing to a close it appeared as though Ryan Villopoto was going to be fastest with a 1:08.142. But, in classic Stewart fashion, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider threw down a heater on the final lap of the session to just barely edge out Villopoto with a 1:08.125.
When the 450s went out for a second time Trey Canard was quick initially, but Ryan Dungey took over the spot, only to lose it several laps later to Ryan Villopoto. Tyler Bowers, who is filling in for Chad Reed with TwoTwo Motorsports, looked good and qualified fourteenth-fastest overall.
Be sure to keep it locked here on Racer X Online, and follow us on Twitter, @Racerxonline, for updates on tonight’s action.