Photography by Kit Palmer
The final timed qualifying session Saturday afternoon at Anaheim was an entertaining affair. Ken Roczen, Ryan Villopoto and Justin Brayton went at it the entire way, each trying to top one another as the session progressed. In the end it was Red Bull KTM’s Roczen coming out on top with a time of 51.232 to go into tonight’s program at A2 as the man with the target on his back. In the 250 West class it was Rockstar KTM’s Jason Anderson continuing the momentum he’s carried all season, clocking in with a class leading 51.852.
After several riders traded the top spot in the final 450 timed qualifying Roczen, who won Anaheim I, came to the front at the end of the session. Just fractions of a second behind are Ryan Villopoto (51.306), James Stewart (51.310) and Justin Brayton (51.950), all in the 51-second bracket. Chad Reed was fifth with a time of 52.278.
Perhaps one mild surprise was Ryan Dungey being just a tad off the pace of the top guys. Dungey was sixth fastest with a 52.285. It probably won’t raise many concerns in the KTM camp though, since Dungey has come back from sub-par timed qualifying before and once the gate dropped on the races, always seemed to find the speed he needed to run up front.
Besides Anderson’s solid performance in the 250 class, there was some additional drama when leading contender Dean Wilson and Dakota Tedder tangled on a triple with both going down. Wilson was quickly back up and actually briefly went to the top of the timing charts, so he appeared to escape the crash unscathed. Tedder on the other hand looked beat up, as did his motorcycle.
Anderson, who won the opening two rounds of the series, ended up as the only rider in the 250 class to break into the 51-second bracket. Behind Anderson at the end of the session was Wilson (52.014), Malcolm Stewart (52.510), Zach Osborne (52.726) and Cole Seely (52.798).