Ryan Dungey the quickest so far at Sam Boyd Stadium.  Photography By: Kit Palmer

Ryan Dungey the quickest so far at Sam Boyd Stadium.  Photography By: Kit Palmer

The 2012 Monster Energy Cup is well underway and we're partly through the lengthy qualifying process at Sam Boyd Stadium in sunny and warm Las Vegas.

Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey is looking smooth and fast and has so far posted the quickest time, followed by last year's winner Ryan Villopoto, on the Monster Energy Kawasaki. But there's still another session left.

Chad Reed, on the TwoTwo Motorsports Honda, is looking good but seems to be waiting to let it all hang out on Vegas track.

GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac, the West Lites Supercross Champion, is riding a 450 tonight in the "run what ya brung" race and looks extremely fast on the big bike, but his first session ended in a big crash. He slowly got on the bike but just cruised around the track for the rest of the session.

Blake Baggett, who is the only rider opting for a 250F machine, was on the gas as well, but he took a hard fall when he got a little out of shape before a big triple and landed short and went over the bars. He got up holding his wrist and has withdrawn from today's race.

Kevin Windham fell and hit his head and will not race tonight.  Photography By: Kit Palmer

Kevin Windham fell and hit his head and will not race tonight.  Photography By: Kit Palmer

Another rider who has pulled out is GEICO Honda's Kevin Windham. Windham looked good in the first session but suffered a hard get-off halfway through the second timed practice outing, forcing a momentary stoppage of the session. He was briefly knocked out in the fall and will sit out the rest of the night.

Blake Baggett holds his wrist after crashing.   Photography By: Kit Palmer

Blake Baggett holds his wrist after crashing.   Photography By: Kit Palmer

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Adam Cianciarulo appears to be the rider to beat in the Amateur All-Star practice. He's even clearing a difficult quad/triple section on his 250F that only a handful of 450 riders are attempting.

However, Jordan Smith and Cooper Webb are producing lap times in the same range as Cianciarulo.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.

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