Stewart Quickest In Las Vegas Practice

Kit Palmer | May 6, 2006

Practice has wrapped up for tonight’s Supercross in Las Vegas and, according to lap times, Team Kawasaki’s James Stewart has shown that he is the rider to beat after posting the quickest lap times in both practice sessions. In the final session, Stewart’s best lap was a 1:05.043, and Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael (4) was next best with a 1:05.763. Team Yamaha’s Chad Reed (22) was third best with a 1:06.021, followed by Kawasaki’s Michael Byrne and SoBe/Samsung Mobile/Honda’s Kevin Windham.

In the Lites class, Honda’s Davi Millsaps has proven to be the rider to beat for tonight’s Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Lites Shootout after posting the quickest time of the day in the Lites class.

Before clicking off the fourth-quickest time in the Supercross-class practice, Byrne went down in one of the track’s two whoop sections and came up holding his arm. He reportedly bent back his thumb and walked to the medical building for x-rays. His status for tonight’s race is up in the air. This isn’t good news for the Kawasaki team, as his teammate James Stewart is hoping that Byrne can finish ahead of Carmichael and Reed in order for Stewart to win the 2006 AMA Supercross  title, that is if Stewart wins the main event. Only five points separate Carmichael, Reed and Stewart going into tonight’s final round of the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series. In the FIM World Supercross GP Series, which also concludes tonight, Stewart enjoys a 12-point lead over Carmichael.

Many times during today’s practice, the “big three” rode together on the extremely hard-packed and dry Las Vegas track, which is producing slightly longer lap times than usual. All three riders look relaxed and smooth in practice, though Carmichael had a few “close calls” and one off-track excursion.

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.