The biggest story of the day during practice at the hot and humid Budds Creek MX Park facility in Maryland was that Ryan Hughes (105), who will be attempting to race tomorrow with a broken leg, was put on permanent probation by AMA Pro Racing after he got into a fist fight with until-now friendly rival Mike Brown (3) after the first practice.
What sparked the fight was the two reportedly got together on the track more than once, with the final on-track blow being thrown by Brown, who shoved his KX125 inside Hughes a couple turns from the finish line and slammed Hughes over the berm, with Hughes falling. After practice, Hughes reportedly caught up with Brown before they went back into the pits and began swinging. Brown wasn’t punished.
Hughes had a special brace made for his left leg by Allsport Dynamics. It seemed to be working in practice, although Hughes didn’t ride the second practice.
James Stewart Jr. will be making his racing return tomorrow, and he looked quite good in practice - as expected. Kevin Windham (14) also looked really strong in practice, and he likes the track a lot.
Stephane Roncada (21) took the SoBe Suzuki 250cc vacancy left by Sean Hamblin and looked good in practice. He was among the first to double a set of jumps just before the finish line. And if you’re wondering who’s left riding for the team in the 125cc class, Matthieu Lalloz is still relatively healthy (although he’s reportedly also suffering from the dreaded Epstein-Barr virus), and the team brought back Brian Gray (338) to ride the factory tiddler.
The Shogun Yamaha team is making its return at Budds Creek, with Josh Demuth (43) riding a YZ250 and Tommy Hofmaster riding a YZ250F in the 125cc class.
And finally, Ricky Carmichael (4)... Well, his unbeaten streak continues, so far.
Tune in to Virtual Grandstand here on CycleNews.com tomorrow and look for the complete story from this weekend’s race in next week’s issue of Cycle News.