Stewart and Stroupe Fastest in Houston SX Practice

Shan Moore | January 24, 2009

Practice has just complete in preparation for round four of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, and it was the usual suspects at the top of the time charts, with San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart leading the way with an official time of 49.960. Stewart’s fastest lap was almost a second quicker than Chad Reed’s best circuit, the Makita Suzuki rider turning a 49.447 during the first session. Reed seemed to struggle with the Houston course, especially in the second session, sliding out on one occasion and another time going over the bars.

Stewart comes into tonight’s race having won the previous two rounds, but sits fourth overall in the standings, 12 points down from points leader Reed, after having finished 19th at the series opener in Anaheim.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto look impressive in the second session and posted the second-fastest time for that practice and the third-fastest time overall with a 50.107.

Red Bull Honda riders Ivan Tedesco and Andrew Short posted the fourth and fifth fastest times, respectively, with Tedesco turning a 50.652, compared to Short’s 50.672.

Josh Grant, the winner of round one of the series in Anaheim, occupies second overall in the standings and this afternoon turned a 50.762 on his JGR/Toyota/Yamaha-backed YZ450F to finish practice with the seventh-fastest time, just behind Kawasaki’s Tim Ferry, who turned a 50.685. Last year’s winner at Reliant Stadium, Geico Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham, came next with a time of 51.158.

An interesting side note in Houston is that Eric Sorby is making his race debut with MDK/Warthog Racing Academy this weekend. The team has finalized a deal for Sorby to compete in the rest of the series under the MDK/Warthog Racing Academy’s canopy, where he will join team members Tyler Bowers and Heath Voss, who recently won a three-day Supercross event in Germany to earn the title King of Germany.

The Houston race marks the opening round of the East Lites series and Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Stroupe looked extremely fast in practice, leading the way with a 51.663. Meanwhile, Stroupe’s teammate, Christophe Pourcel, was second-fastest with a in the division with a 51.701.

Suzuki’s Nicco Izzi (51.920), Star Racing’s Matt Lemoine (51.926) and MDK/KTM’s Martin Davalos (52.142) rounded out the top five in the class.

(Photo: Christophe Pourcel was second-fastest in Lites qualifying.)

Shan Moore | Contributing Editor

Moore covers all facets of off-road racing for Cycle News – from AMA Supercross and Motocross to GNCC and National Hare Scrambles events.