SAN BERNARDINO, CA, MAY 24 - Qualifying for the opening round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship is officially over, and the two top riders are Ryan Dungey in the 450 class and Christophe Pourcel in the 250 class.
Under overcast skies and in cool temperatures, things are in full swing at Glen Helen Raceway in Southern California, and the track is settling in nicely. It is for the most part still soft and loamy, and deep grooves are building in the turns, and taking full advantage of the near ideal conditions are Dungey and Pourcel.
Ryan Dungey is so far the master of the Glen Helen track.
Dungey, on the Red Bull KTM, was quickest in both 450 timed practice sessions, but not by much. His Red Bull KTM teammate, Ken Roczen, isn’t far off his mark, with Dungey clicking off a combined best time of 2:13.644 and Roczen a 2:13.800.
Not far off the pace of the two KTMs is Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard with a 2:14.032, followed by Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart (2:14.152), Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia (2:14.228) and Toyota/JGRMX Yamaha’s Josh Grant (2:14.552).
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe is eighth quickest and Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsport Kawasaki’s Chad Reed is 10th quickest, a little over three seconds off Dungey’s time.
Other 450 notables: Andrew Short (7th), Jake Weimer (8th), Weston Peick (14th), Ivan Tedesco (15th)
In the 250 class, Pourcel, on the Valli Motorsports Yamaha, has been saving his hot laps just for when it counts and when he let it rip, we has quickest in both timed practice sessions. His best time is about a half-second quicker than Jason Anderson’s time, 2:15.518 to 2:16.076.
Christophe Pourcel finally let loose and was quickest in the 250 class.
The next three riders are all in the 2:16 bracket: Star Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin and Cooper Webb and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson. A little over a second back of the first five are Zach Osborne, Justin Hill, Jessy Nelson and Blake Baggett.
Other 250 notables: Justin Bogle (13th), Zach Bell (14th), Marvin Musquin (15th), Matt Bisceglia (16th) and Shane Mcelrath (19th).
Although it’s still quite gray out, the sun is trying to peak through, so we suspect it will be a little more sunny by the 1:05 p.m. start of the 450 class. Temps shouldn’t reach much more than the mid-80s either way.