Once again, Team Makita Suzuki’s proved that he’s the rider to beat after posting the quickest times in today’s practice for tomorrow’s 10th round of the AMA Motocross Championship Series at Broome-Tioga Sports Center in Binghamton, New York. In both combined practice sessions, where the top riders of the 125 and 250cc classes ride the track at the same time, Carmichael laid down the quickest times on the hilly and rocky track. In the first session, Carmichael was only a half second quicker than 125cc-class rider, KTM Red Bull’s KTM’s Mike Alessi, but RC was over three seconds quicker than the next-best 250cc-class rider, Kawasaki’s James Stewart, who is back in action for the first time since Unadilla.
In the second session, Carmichael really dropped the hammer, posting a time nearly five seconds faster than Stewart’s, 2:10.782, 2:15.076. Third quickest was Team Honda’s Ernesto Fonseca with a 2:16.290. Alessi’s best time in the second session was six second slower than in his first outing.
Other riders turning in some impressive times included KTM’s Jeff Alessi, who, in the first all-125cc practice session, was the quickest with a 2:14.189. Kawasaki rider Ryan Villopoto, who is making his Pro debut at Binghamton, was second fastest with a 2:18.268. Also putting up good numbers were Suzuki’s Broc Hepler, Yamaha’s David Vuillemin and Unbound Energy/MDK’s Nick Wey.
Amsoil Chaparral/Honda’s Kevin Windham looked fast but did not complete a single lap at full speed.
Carmichael could clinch the 250cc title at Binghamton if he can gain 11 points on Windham tomorrow.
The closest points race among the front-runners in the 250cc class involves Vuillemin and Fonseca. With just three rounds remaining, Vuillemin, third in the standings, is just four points ahead of Fonseca.
With Yamaha’s Chad Reed sitting out the remainder of the season, Honda’s Travis Preston has a good shot of taking over fourth before all is said and done.
Ryan Hughes showed up at Binghamton in new colors. Hughes traded his Honda in for a Suzuki and is running in the 250cc class aboard the RM-Z450. Hughes reportedly signed with Suzuki to compete in the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS).
The weather in the Binghamton area has been good, but warm and quite humid, and there is a threat of rain Saturday night. The forecast for tomorrow, however, is good but there is still a slight chance of thunderstorms.