When it comes to the 125 class, a lot of attention has been focused on Team Suzuki’s David Millsaps and KTM’s Mike Alessi, but it was privateer Ryan Hughes, on the ECC-backed Honda CRF250R, who came out swinging first, clicking off the quickest time in the first practice session. The second time out, Hughes crashed once but was still third fastest and within a second of the quickest rider, Grant Langston.
“First time was good,” Hughes said. “The second time out, we tried a different setting on the rear shock and it didn’t work as good. I had a pretty good get-off there, but you have to try things. I tried things and didn’t feel that good but, still, not feeling that good and only being a second off the time is not that bad, so I’m not too worried.
“I feel good on this track and I feel tomorrow is going to be good. I’m happy with my riding; just riding out there, not over my head and under my limits. Everybody can go fast one lap but can they do it for 35 minutes?”
When asked about his endurance, Hughes replied, “Has there ever been a problem? I feel good.”
Honda-mounted Mike Brown also looked good in the 125-class practice.
“I feel good, really good,” Brown said. “I’ve got my set-up going, no pressure. It’s good to be back here racing; I missed it more than I thought it would. Everything is new, but there are a few last-minute things [to work out].
“The first practice wasn’t the best, the second practice got a little better. I got my bike dialed in a little better. Everything is going good right now so far. It’ll get better as the weekend goes on.”
Brown added that he liked the Hangtown track.
“It’s good,” he said. “It’s little bit one-lined, tight. It’s going to be really rough, fitness and picking the best lines are going to be important.”