Practice for round seven of the AMA Chevrolet Motocross Championship Series at Kenworthy’s Motocross Park in Troy, Ohio, has come and gone, and without too much surprise Honda’s Ricky Carmichael and Yamaha’s Chad Reed set the fastest lap times of the day.
As expected, Reed looked extremely fast on the Supercross-style Kenworthy’s track, setting the quickest time in the first practice session, but not by much. Reed laid down a 2:05.008 best time, a tick faster than Carmichael’s 2:05.022. Third quickest was Kawasaki KX125-mounted James Stewart who posted a 2:06.885.
But lap times got considerably quicker in the second and final session, this time Carmichael clocking the quickest time with a 2:01.199 over Reed’s 2:03.257. Again, Stewart was third quickest with a time of 2:03.765, which is nearly four seconds faster than the next-best 125cc-class time of 2:07.064, posted by Pro-Circuit Kawasaki’s Ivan Tedesco.
Other fast times include Yamaha’s David Vuillemin who was fourth fastest in both sessions. Vuillemin’s teammate Tim Ferry, and Kawasaki’s Michael Byrne posted decent times, as well. Somewhat off the pace in both sessions, however, was Honda rider Kevin Windham who only got within five seconds of Reed in the first session. In the second session, Windham’s best time was eight seconds off Carmichael’s best time.
The Kenworthy’s track is considered a Supercross-style course, much to do with its flat ground and many man-made obstacles – whoops, doubles and triples. Some feel that, because of this, the playing field might be closer between 2004 Supercross Champion Chad Reed and the outdoor specialist Ricky Carmichael, who is, of course, an accomplished Supercross rider himself. But Carmichael came back in from the practice sessions saying the track was quite good. He said the track wasn’t too Supercross-ish and had a good outdoor feel. He added, though, that the track wasn’t too technical, meaning that it might be difficult to put time on another rider. If that’s the case, then expect closer-than-usual racing tomorrow. Right now the track is very fast and smooth.
While the Kenworthy’s track is known for its doubles and triples, it’s also known as one of the hot and humid ones. Many times the race has been held in almost unbearable steamy conditions, but this year, the racing conditions couldn’t be better – at least so far. Today, temperatures were in the upper ’70s, dry and just plain pleasant. Tomorrow’s forecast is for the same, but you can never rule out a thunderstorm or two. You might say that Kenworthy’s is saving its best for the last, as this will be the final National held at this facility. It has been replaced on next year’s schedule by the Lakewood facility in Colorado, which last held a National in the mid 1980s.
For the first time since breaking his wrist at the Pontiac Supercross, MotoworldRacing.com/Suzuki’s Andrew Short will lineup on the starting gate. Short rode practice today and posted some respectable times on the RM-Z250.