Phoenix SX 2014 | Anderson & Villopoto Quickest In Qualifying

Photos by Jeff Kardas

Timed qualifying from round two of the Monster Energy Supercross series in Phoenix has concluded, and while the riders have had time to dial in the track, the technical layout has caused more than a few to crash. Riders are coming up with massive lines through the long rhythm sections, a massive whoop section is testing their commitment, and a few areas of track have “secret” lines that only a few have tried.

Bad news from the GEICO Honda rig, as 450 rookie Eli Tomac and 250 West Coast racer Zach Bell will both miss tonight’s racing with injuries. With a sore body from last week’s heat race crash, Tomac was a question mark already and elected to sit out the race after a single lap of practice. Bell, meanwhile went down during the first practice of the day and suffered a broken collarbone. Injuries aren’t limited to the GEICO Honda team, with JGRMX/Toyota/NFab/Yamaha’s Josh Grant taking a spill in practice and banging up his shoulder. Despite missing the last session, JG hopes to line up for the night show.

250 Timed Qualifying

The riders in the 250 class are determined to prove that last week’s excitement was no fluke. There were numerous young racers at the top of the chart through the two sessions, and when the final flag flew, only milliseconds separated the top two. Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda teammates Cole Seely and Malcolm Stewart claimed fourth and fifth, respectively, and Stewart is the only 250 rider so far to conquer the massive triple-triple-triple rhythm in the middle lane. GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne nabbed the third spot with a 55.905 lap and is just off the pace set by the top-two. Dean Wilson waited until lap 10 to post a 55.674 lap on his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki but held the spot for just a moment, because Rockstar Energy Racing KTM’s Jason Anderson snaked the top of the order away on the final lap with a 55.651 lap.

250 Timed Qualifying Results

1. Jason Anderson 55.651
2. Dean Wilson 55.674
3. Zach Osborne 55.905
4. Cole Seely 56.158
5. Malcolm Stewart 56.458
6. Cooper Webb 56.749
7. Justin Hill 56.960
8. Jake Canada 57.486
9. Darryn Durham 57.690
10. Jessy Nelson 57.992

450 Timed Qualifying

Roughly two-hundredths of a second separates the top-five in the 450 class. JGRMX/Toyota/NFab/Yamaha’s Justin Brayton launched his way into the top-five, literally, and is one of the few riders using a wall jump positioned just before the sand section to leap over the entire patch of soft soil. A1 winner Ken Roczen claimed the fourth-fastest time of the class aboard his Red Bull KTM, and trailed teammate Ryan Dungey by .059 on the clock. Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia is hoping to duplicate last year’s win at Phoenix and had the speed to rank second to Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto.

Villopoto, and James Stewart all crashed during the afternoon practices; Villopoto clipped a section of bales upon landing in a rhythm section and was spit off the bike, while the rear wheel of Stewart’s Yoshimura Suzuki clipped a landing and sent him into an awaiting berm on the front wheel in the second practice. Stewart withdrew from the session, but was still seventh overall.

450 Timed Qualifying Results

1. Ryan Villopoto 55.546
2. Justin Barcia 55.567
3. Ryan Dungey 55.643
4. Ken Roczen 55.702
5. Justin Brayton 55.763
6. Broc Tickle 55.902
7. James Stewart 55.988
8. Jake Weimer 56.135
9. Wil Hahn 56.235
10. Chad Reed 56.618