JDR/KTM rookie Joey Savatgy raised some eyebrows in his heat race, leading the entire race, before getting pushed aside by Eli Tomac just before the final turn. But while Tomac took the checkered flag, Savatgy showed great speed and confidence. Keep an eye on Savatgy in the coming weeks…he may just bring JDR KTM a podium.
Ryan Dungey had a tough day in Phoenix. In the opening lap of the heat race, Dungey found himself the bystander victim of a Josh Grant/Antonio Balbi collision, which sent him to the dirt. Although he did remount and continue racing, he could not make it back into qualifying position before the checkers flew. A forgettable start in the LCQ forced Dungey to fight through traffic again, but he managed to qualify behind Jimmy Albertson. The main event didn’t go much better for the KTM rider, and he settled for eighth place. No doubt, RD5 will forget about this race as soon as possible and look ahead to A2.
Three the Hard Way: Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos was running a great heat race when disaster struck. As he skipped through a rhythm section, Davalos found himself sailing through the air with his weight shifted to far forward. His front end touched down too early, and his bike ejected him head first into a set of tuff blocks, then cartwheeled past him. The sensational crash, however, didn’t end his night. Instead, he qualified through the LCQ, then charged hard in the main event to capture third. Hats off to the Ecuadorian.
The Yoshimura Suzuki crew clearly has Stewart’s RM-Z450 dialed in. Even with a clearly damaged knee, Stewart is gliding around the track effortlessly. The truth is, however, every moment on that bike has to be excruciating. We haven’t ever seen Stewart ride with this much calculated calmness and deliberate reserve. We only hope that his knee is not as bad as speculation infers, and that he will be able to rebound soon.
James Stewart did show up for track walk, but chose to stay off the dirt and obstacles. Instead, he walked the outer radius of the course. While he could very well have been just trying to keep his shoes clean, one has to wonder if he chose to avoid exercising his knee too much.