|Chad Reed was fastest in 450cc practice and is sporting a new Chargers helmet. |
|Steve Cox |
Riders are calling the course in Qualcomm Stadium the best of the year so far. The large floor space gives the Dirt Wurx staff options that they don’t have in baseball stadiums. There is a very big set of whoops coming right out of the first turn that are separating the men from the boys – and the short-legged riders from those with longer limbs. In fact, Mike Alessi
was thrown from his Suzuki and broke his collarbone during the second session today. The start straight is long and wide and rolls into a sandy, sweeping left-hander. One of the rhythm lanes is allowing a few riders to triple through it and into the following turn – an off-camber, 180-degree right-hander.
In the Lites class, Jason Lawrence
kept his momentum going by setting the quickest lap time of the day. Dungey was a very close second, though, and he looks like he wants redemption from last weekend’s disaster. Brett Metcalfe
looked good, too, but crashed pretty hard during the second session and pulled off the track. He got his foot looked at by the Asterisk Mobile Medical Team, but it doesn’t look like anything is broken. Brett qualified fifth fastest and he’s still planning on racing tonight. Austin Stroupe
was the third-fastest qualifier and he looks like a good bet for a podium finish tonight.
Also, Star Racing’s Matt Lemoine
and Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy’s Zach Osborne are returning to action this weekend.
The Supercross class continues to thin out. With Tedesco, Alessi, Langston and Stewart on the sidelines, Live Nation is having a hard time filling the gate in this class. In the riders’ meeting today they said that west coast Lites riders that want to ride the premier class on the east would be allowed to do so, as long as they met the criteria set forth by the AMA in their rulebook. In other words, any riders who weren’t already eligible for the 450cc class coming into this season, if they earn 20 points on the West-coast swing in the Lites class, they can move up for the East swing and ride 450s. However, if they do well and end up top-20 in points, they will be made ineligible for the Lites class next year.
Langston has an appointment on Monday for the Lasek procedure to repair his eye. In practice today, Reed was the quickest rider. That isn’t surprising, but the way he has been doing it the last couple of weeks is. Up until the very last lap of practice Reed wasn’t on the top of the charts. Then, just like last week, Reed puts down a smoker on the final lap and goes to the top of the board. Andrew Short
, Timmy Ferry
and Kevin Windham
all looked good enough to make it interesting tonight if they can start in front of Reed. Listen tonight at www.supercross.cc.com or tune into CBS tomorrow to watch it in Hi-Def.