Monster Cup: Dungey Sets The Bar

Kit Palmer | October 20, 2012
Ryan Dungey set the bar for tonights race.  Photography By: Kit Palmer

Ryan Dungey set the bar for tonight’s race.  Photography By: Kit Palmer

Qualifying is over and it’s time for racing at the 2012 Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas. The third and final practice/timing session is over and it’s Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey who tops the leaderboard after qualifying quickest. Although times were generally a little quicker in the first session when track conditions were smoother, Dungey set the bar on the now rougher track before tonight’s three-moto final.

Dungey’s single-best lap time was a 1:09.506, which was slightly quicker than the second-best time put up by last year’s winner Ryan Villopoto. RV’s best time was a 1:09.642. Dungey and Villopoto were the only riders to crack the 1:09 bracket in the final outing.

Third quickest was Eli Tomac on the 450cc GEICO Honda. The West Lites Supercross champ recovered nicely from his earlier crash and clocked a 1:10.224, edging out his former teammate Justin Barcia (1:10.450) on the Muscle Milk Honda.

Ryan Villopoto heads into the sweeping Tallavega turn.   Photography By: Kit Palmer

Ryan Villopoto heads into the sweeping Tallavega turn.   Photography By: Kit Palmer

TwoTwo Motorsports/Honda’s Chad Reed was fifth quickest with a 1:10.789.

Perhaps the surprise performance so far was turned in by local favorite, privateer Kyle Partridge (1:10.925) who finished just ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer (1:11.124) and MotoConcepts’ Mike Alessi (1:11.215).

Eli Tomac is looking right at home on the 450 GEICO Honda.   Photography By: Kit Palmer

Eli Tomac is looking right at home on the 450 GEICO Honda.   Photography By: Kit Palmer

The initial report from the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki pits is that Blake Baggett suffered a broken wrist in his earlier crash and is already sporting a cast.

Kevin Windham, who also fell earlier, reportedly suffered a concussion, forcing him out of the program.

It came down to the last lap to determine the quickest in the Amateur All-Star class. GEICO Honda’s Jordan Smith held the quickest lap time in the final practice session until Adam Cianciarulo busted out the quickest time as he took the checkered flag, signaling the end of qualifying.

Mike Alessi looks fast but is about a second-and-a-half off the pace.   Photography By: Kit Palmer

Mike Alessi looks fast but is about a second-and-a-half off the pace.   Photography By: Kit Palmer

Cianciarulo stopped the clock with a 1:12.296, which was about a half-second quicker that Smith’s time. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider is still the only 250F pilot regularly clearing the big quad/triple, one of the most difficult section on the course.

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.