With James Stewart electing to sit out Saturday practice sessions this year, and with Ricky Carmichael skipping the Unadilla round altogether, it was obvious that someone new would sit atop the qualifying time sheets after today’s practice session at round six of the Toyota AMA Motocross Championship, at Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin, New York. That honor went to Team Yamaha’s Grant Langston, who looked particularly smooth en route to the fastest lap of the day. His time of 2:07.891 was almost a full second faster than Team Honda’s Davi Millsaps’ best time, which was a 2:08.829.
Just behind Millsaps, with a time of 2:09.465, came Sobe/No Fear/Samsung/Honda’s Kevin W Windham, followed by Suzuki’s Ivan Tedesco (2:09.503) and Team Kawasaki’s Tim Ferry (2:09.662).
In the Lites division, Team Yamaha’s Broc Hepler and Red Bull KTM’s Zac Osborne are each making their return to racing at Unadilla after sitting out for extended periods of time. Osborne was sixth-fastest in the Lites division, while Hepler was just behind in seventh.
Leading the way in the 250F class was Ryan Villopoto, with a time of 2:08.062, a time that would have seeded him second in the 450 class.
Villopoto’s Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate, Ben Townley, was second-fastest in the division, with a time of 2:09.444, while Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey (2:09.983), Sobe/No Fear/Samsung/Honda’s Josh Grant (2:09.995) and Yamaha of Troy’s Jason Lawrence (2:10.207) rounded out the top five.
Stewart will be going for his first overall win of the season when the gates drop on tomorrow’s event, and with Carmichael sitting this one out, the Kawasaki rider should leave New York with the series points lead. However, Unadilla has not been kind to Stewart. In 2005 he had a collision with Carmichael as the two battled for the lead, while last year Stewart suffered a high-speed crash during morning practice and missed the race altogether.