Practice is finished at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, for round nine of the Monster Energy Supercross series. Though it’s too early to wager who will win tonight, there are a few indicators that suggest another all-out battle between the 450 foursome of Ryan Villopoto, Ken Roczen, Ryan Dungey and James Stewart. However, there are several interesting new faces to the 450 class this weekend. Cole Seely is filling in on the Factory Honda squad, as Justin Barcia and Trey Canard are both out with injuries. The other big name is Dean Wilson, filling in on the TwoTwo Motorsports team for Chad Reed. Wilson looked calm and ready for his foray into 450 Supercross while walking the track and discussing line selection with Chad Reed. Dean commented that he’s not in the points chase (obviously) and is here to have fun. Given that he’s well back in the 250 West title hunt, it’s a great opportunity for Deano to let it all hang out and prove himself on the 450. As for Seely, racing the 450 is a gamble. He’s in the 250 West mix. Being exposed to the dangers of racing could yield obvious consequences; then again, he’s getting seat time and satisfying Big Red. Time will tell how the Seely/450 ride will play out. Seely qualified 11th fastest for the night show. Dean Wilson was 12th.
Feld Motorsports encouraged the race teams to set up camp outdoors in the shadow of Lucas Oil Stadium in an effort to hold their usual “Party In The Pits.” Indiana folks don’t mind the near-freezing climate, but most of the race teams have chosen to either hide out inside their rigs or set up inside the stadium. In fact, the TwoTwo Motorsports boys have elected to keep Dean Wilson’s bike inside their rig until Dean rides it into the stadium. Why? According to master mechanic, Mike Gosselaar, getting the bike cold effects suspension performance and freezes up the tires.
As for the track, Indianapolis has a few distinguishing features–a sizable sand section, a steep wall following the second whoop lane, as well as a double immediately following the finish line jump. There’s also a 180-degree turn before the finish line, which I believe will be the perfect spot for a last-second pass. Or a takeout.
The Dirt Wurx crew got a late jump on building the track this weekend due to the NFL combine held at the stadium last week. They started loading the field with 6000 cubic feet of dirt on Wednesday. The starting gate wasn’t set until 7:00 pm on Friday night. The rush job paid off. This is far and away the most challenging track of the series thus far, though not because of the track layout. Instead it’s the dirt that’s making all the difference. Deep ruts have formed in every conceivable area–turns, jump faces, landings, and acceleration spots. The treacherous conditions have caused Dirt Wurx to constantly manicure the jumps, though several high profile riders have still hit the ground. Eli Tomac pitched away his Geico Honda in the first qualifying session. Josh Grant also went down. In the second 450 qualifier Broc Tickle took a trip over the bars in the rutted out whoops. Blake Wharton and Justin Bogle took soil samples in the 250 class. All escaped unharmed.
Who were the fastest guys in the first qualifying session? Ryan Dungey bested everyone in the 450 class, while Martin Davalos was blistering fast in the 250 class. Here are the top qualifying times in each class.
1. James Stewart……54.04
2. Ryan Dungey……..54.23
3. Wil Hahn…………..54.55
4. Ken Roczen………54.83
5. Eli Tomac………….55.10
6. Ryan Villopoto……55.26
7. Josh Grant………..55.28
8. Broc Tickle………..55.49
9. Josh Hill……………55.66
10. Justin Brayton….55.74
Other notables: 11. Cole Seely, 12. Dean Wilson. There were 51 riders entered in the 450 class. The slowest time was a 1:12.13.
1. Adam Cianciarulo…54.62
2. Martin Davalos…..…54.75
3. Blake Baggett…….…54.80
4. Jeremy Martin………54.98
5. Justin Bogle…………55.42
6. Blake Wharton…..…55.48
7. Jimmy Decotis………55.82
8. Matt Lemoine……….55.92
9. Jace Owen…………..56.32
10. Matt Bisceglia……56.48
Other notables: 11. Kyle Cunningham, 12. Vince Friese. There were 64 riders entered in the 250 class. The slowest time was a 1:20.31.
Check out John Basher’s photo gallery below:
Tony Berluti braves the cold weather and prepares Broc Tickle’s RCH Suzuki. Tony must’ve buffed out the rubber left by Mike Alessi in Atlanta.
Lars Lindstrom (right) and Mike Gosselaar, meanwhile, avoided the cold temps and worked inside the hauler. It was a tight squeeze, but it’s all in a day’s work for Lars and Mike.
Lucas Oil Stadium is one of the nicest facilities on the AMA Supercross circuit.
The whoops before practice began…
…and after the first qualifying session was complete.
Dean Wilson and Chad Reed talk strategy. It’s interesting to note that Reed mentioned in an interview that he is not ready to retire just yet. He’d rather have a helmet than a headset on.
Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Bones Bacon spotted this gem in the landing of one of the triples. So he started digging…
…and this is what he found. It was metal.
Weston Peick is looking for another top five finish tonight.
John Tomac. Quiet in person, but a monster on a mountain bike.
Geico Honda rookie Matt Bisceglia gets a mouthful of sand, but he’s not at the beach.
Jeremy Martin qualified fourth fastest.
Martin Davalos is hot off his first win last weekend in Atlanta. He was second fastest in 250 qualifying.
James Stewart used every method possible to nail down the fastest lap of the day. Check out those deep ruts going up the jump face.
Chris Blose navigates the wall jump following the second whoop section.
Adam Cianciarulo is aiming to keep the red plate after tonight’s festivities. Can the rookie do it?
Remember to always wear the proper protection when riding a scooter, as demonstrated by Adam Cianciarulo.
Shout out to the privateers! That’s Nicolas Gonzales cresting a jump in 250 qualifying. Gonzales didn’t make the night show, but he got his photo on our site.
Blake Baggett is one of the few Pro Circuit Kawasaki riders that hasn’t won a Supercross yet this year. Could tonight be the night?
AC shows some style over this double jump.
Justin Bogle is showing that a preseason injury hasn’t slowed him. Bogle qualified fifth fastest at Indy.
Cole Seely is flying the factory Honda flag in Indy.
Eli Tomac mid-crash.
Ryan Dungey won the first qualifying session, but was bested by James Stewart the second time around. Still, Dungey looks great on the technical track.
The Indy dirt should favor Ryan Villopoto, but he only qualified sixth fastest. It won’t matter. RV drops the hammer when it counts.