Southwick Saturation

| June 7, 2003

It’s been raining since this morning in Southwick, Massachusetts, and it’s not letting up just yet. According to The Weather Channel’s website (, it won’t stop raining until tomorrow morning. Considering that the sandy track has the ability to soak up a lot of water, and that it already has a lot of standing water, it seems unlikely that tomorrow’s race will be anything but a mudfest.

Boost Mobile/Yamaha/Troy Racing’s Brock Sellards parked his YZ250F after the first practice today when he pulled his Roll-Off and jammed his left thumb (the same one he injured earlier in the year) as he was reaching back for the bars. He sat out the second practice and says he doesn’t know if he can race tomorrow or not.

Chevy Trucks Kawasaki’s James Stewart Jr. is sitting out this weekend’s event as well, which one would assume leaves him completely out of this year’s championship hunt. His teammate Ezra Lusk sat out practice as well, but it’s unclear whether he will ride tomorrow or not. Cernic’s KTM’s John Dowd sat out practice today, but is was more to stay out of the mud and save his equipment than anything. He should be racing tomorrow.

Some may call it a surprise and some may not, but Doug Henry (19) reportedly had the fastest time in the first practice session. During last year’s Ricky Carmichael (4) domination, Henry actually led more laps than any other rider besides Carmichael the entire year with nine. He led all nine of those laps at Southwick, and considering his wet-riding prowess and his Southwick speed, he very well could be a force to be reckoned with tomorrow.

Star Racing’s Keith R. Johnson switched from his YZ450F back to a YZ250 for this week’s race. It was said that he’ll likely keep the two-stroke for the rest of the year, although officially he’s just riding it for the next two weeks.

Team ECC Suzuki’s Shane Bess had to switch out the motor in his RM125 after he fell into a pond in the middle of the track during his first practice. Apparently he stopped to clean his goggles and tried to ride over a rise onto a different part of the track when he fell into a small lake on the backside of said rise and flooded his bike with water. It took him and three other people quite a while to get the water-logged machine out.

Tomorrow could be awesome, and it will almost definitely be a mudder. Check back to Virtual Grandstand tomorrow here on, listen to the live feed at, or check out the live timing and scoring at, and we’ll have the whole story in next week’s issue of Cycle News.

By Freelance