Stewart, Barcia Step It Up In Daytona Qualifying

Kit Palmer | March 5, 2011

Practice and timed qualifying has just finished at Daytona International Speedway for round nine of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, and San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart set the mark to beat after setting the quickest lap time of the afternoon. But he’s got close company.

Stewart recorded a 1:16.341 and right behind him is Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto with a 1:16.531. In fact, four riders are in the 16-second bracket: Stewart, Villopoto, TwoTwo Motorsports Honda’s Chad Reed (16.613) and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey (16.954).

The first rider in the 17’s is Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGR Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps, followed by Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, Honda’s Trey Canard, Red Bull KTM’s Andrew Short and Mike Alessi, rounding out the top-10 qualifiers.Eleventh quickest is Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe, but he’s still up in the air if he’s going to race tonight, as he’s still feeling the effects of a hard get-off he suffered last weekend in Atlanta.

Despite riding with an injured wrist that he suffered last weekend in Atlanta, GEICO Powersport Honda’s Justin Barcia is the quickest so far in the East Lites division. Barcia, who is wearing a brace on the injured wrist, posted a 1:18.143, edging out the rider he’s tied with for the series championship, Dean Wilson, of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team. Wilson stopped the clock with a 1:18.222. Only three Lites rider make up the 18-second bracket, the third being Nico Izzi on the Kilbarger Racing Yamaha.Fourth quickest in the Lites class is Wilson’s teammate Blake Baggett, followed by Ryan Sipes, Malcolm Stewart, Taylor Futrell, Matthew Lemoine, Blake Wharton, and Les Smith.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Ian Trettel suffered a hard crash in the first timed qualifying session and was transported to the hospital. Trettel was tossed over the handlebars, hitting his head when he went down, knocking him unconscious. He reportedly woke up at the hospital and is said to be recovering with a concussion.

This year’s Daytona course is typical Daytona – fairly fast, rough and long. Deep ruts form quickly and there are plenty of smaller braking bumps mixed in with many larger doubles, triples and tabletops scattered around the track, which seems somewhat tighter than previous Daytona layouts.The day started out cloudy and threatening but has been steadily clearing. By the final qualifying session, the sun was shining. However, this is Daytona and anything can happen when it comes to weather.Off-road champion Ricky Dietrich is here at Daytona, competing in the 450cc class on a Valli Motorsports Yamaha. In his first Supercross of the year, he qualified 33rd for tonight’s program.


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.