Windham Quickest In Vegas Supercross Qualifying

Cycle News Staff | May 7, 2011


For many riders, the first hurdle of the day has been successfully cleared, and they’ve moved on to the evening program for tonight’s grand finale of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, an FIM Championship, at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. All of the title contenders, such as Supercross-class points leader Ryan Villopoto, West Lites leaders Broc Tickle and East Lites leader Justin Barcia, have safely qualified for tonight’s title-deciding program. However, none of them turned in the quickest lap times during this afternoon’s timed practice.

On a dry, hard-packed track, and with temperatures in the mid-90s, Kevin Windham, Kyle Cunningham and Ryan Sipes have set the bar in their respective classes.Windham, on the GEICO Powersports Honda, laid down the best time of the day with a 1:02.468, but five riders are all within the 1:02 bracket, including James Stewart, Ryan Dungey, Chad Reed and Justin Brayton.

Davi Millsaps is sixth fastest with a 1:03.417, and Villopoto is seventh fastest with a 1:03.675.A fifth-place finish by Villopoto will guarantee the Kawasaki rider his first Supercross Championship. His nearest rival is Reed on the TwoTwo Motorsports Honda who is just nine points back. Early in the day Villopoto seemed loose and relaxed but appeared to be riding very conservatively in practice, keeping the bike straight and level off the jumps and staying clear of other riders.

Reed, on the other hand, looks aggressive and ready to pull out the stops. The Honda rider had the quickest lap time after the first round of timed qualifying. Dungey, on the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki, also looks fast and smooth, but had one small glitch when he pulled out of the first timed practice session early after getting a rear flat tire.Ryan Sipes, on the DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha, was quickest in the East, and his teammate Kyle Cunningham is the quickest so far in the West.The closest race for the title tonight is the one for the West Lites title between Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle and GEICO Powersports Honda’s Eli Tomac. Tickle leads Tomac by just two points, and he qualified about a half-second fast than Tomac.

Barcia enjoys a 20-point lead over Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson. A 16th-place finish will guarantee Barcia the title.Once both East and West titles are decided, the top riders of both series will come together for the Dave Coombs Sr. Memorial East/West Lites Shootout.Tonight’s program will be quite a bit different with the first two races of the night being the East and West main events. A coin toss decided who’d race first, and the flip of the coin went to the East class, which will take to the track first.The top nine finishers in each main will qualify for the East/West Shoot, and there will be a LCQ to determine the final two slots available in the Shootout.