The first practice session at has just finished at Hangtown and all of the usual players are at the top of the leaderboard when it comes to fastest lap times. Yamaha’s Chad Reed recorded the quickest time so far with a 2:27.060, followed by Team Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael with a 2:27.905. A somewhat surprising third-fastest, but fastest in the 125 class, is KTM’s Ryan Hughes with a 2:30.898, while Amsoil/Chaparral Honda’s Kevin Windham is fourth-fastest with a 2:32.017. KTM’s Mike Alessi is a tick off Windham’s pace with a 2:32.252.
You might notice that James Stewart is not among the leaders, but he was. The factory Kawasaki rider’s times were not recorded, at least not initially. He was, however, very fast on one of only a few 250cc two-strokes on the track.
Early in the session, Stewart pulled off the track and re-entered right in front of Carmichael, and the two went at it for many laps. Stewart led Carmichael around the lengthy track until Carmichael backed off, but it appeared that the two riders looked equal in speed.
As mentioned, Hughes and Alessi are the two fastest 125-class riders at the moment. Third-fastest is Suzuki-mounted Eric Sorby, who is followed by YoT’s Kelly Smith.
One more practice session is on tap for later this afternoon.