SOUTHWICK, MASSACHUSETTS, June 9: James Stewart posted the fastest time in qualifying for round three of the Toyota AMA Motocross Championship to be held tomorrow at Motocross 338 in Southwick, Massachusetts. Meanwhile, fellow Kawasaki rider Ryan Villopoto topped the Lites division time sheets.
Off and on rain showers kept the Southwick course moist and loamy as riders attempted to qualify for the 31st Annual MotoTees Southwick National, presented by Scott USA, and after playing second fiddle to Ricky Carmichael two weeks ago in Pennsylvania, Stewart came out with both guns blazing in Southwick, posting the fastest time in both sessions, with his first session time of 1:54.167 setting the standard for the 450 class. Carmichael pushed his Suzuki to a second-best time of 1:54.446, while Yamaha's Grant Langston was third fastest with a time of 1:56.575.
Southwick's famed sand track at the Motocross 338 facility is the site of the epic Carmichael/Stewart battle a year ago. And if practice was any indication, these two should put on another show for the 20,000-plus fans that are expected for tomorrow's main event.
In the AMA Motocross Lites division, Villopoto posted a 1:57.029, which was three-tenths of a second quicker than last week's winner, Josh Grant. Grant's Honda teammate, Thomas Hahn, was third fastest at 1:57.601.
Local hero Christopher Pugrab, of nearby Ellington, Connecticut, turned in the fourth fastest time of 1:57.971, showing that a little local knowledge can go a long way on a track that is considered by many of the top pros to be one of the toughest on the circuit.