Villopoto And Anderson First | 2014 Houston SX Practice Report

Photos by Jeff Kardas

Practice for round 14 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series inside Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, has concluded. This round marks the return of the 250 West Coast Championship where rivals Rockstar KTM’s Jason Anderson and Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs/Honda’s Cole Seely are only separated by four points, with Anderson sporting the customary red plates for tonight’s race.

The Houston track is shaping up to be one of the more challenging of the season.

Although the same riders as previous weeks have posted the top qualifying times, the track is shaping up to be the main factor for who will come out on top at the end of the night. Many riders have gone down hard today, including JGR/Toyota/Yamaha’s Justin Brayton who went down in the first and second of three sessions and has withdrawn from the night with a fractured hand. Nick Wey also had a big crash in the first session, but managed to walk away uninjured. While the track doesn’t appear to be more difficult than previous tracks this year, the dirt is breaking down and the rhythm lanes and whoops are quickly becoming treacherous.
In the 250 class, Rockstar KTM’s Anderson was in a class of his own, posting the fastest times in both timed outings. Behind him, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson turned in the second quickest time, and nearly over-took Anderson in the second outing. Anderson’s closest championship contender Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs/Honda’s Cole Seely, however, was off the pace, as he was the seventh quickest—nearly two seconds off Anderson’s time.
As mentioned, numerous riders hit the dirt today with many of them being in the 450 class. But that wasn’t the only drama that occurred in the premiere class. After posting the fastest time in the first session, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart pulled out of the session due to an undisclosed illness he has been battling. He never returned for the final timed session. Since then, he has been laying low in his motorhome, missing his scheduled autograph signing to get more rest. When it was all said and done, Stewart’s first session time didn’t hold, and in fact garnered him the eighth fastest qualifying position. Posting the fastest time was Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto with a time of 48.231 seconds. Behind him, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey posted a time of 48.217, while his teammate Ken Roczen turned in a time of 48.377.

1. Jason Anderson 48.393
2. Dean Wilson 48.664
3. Malcolm Stewart 49.378
4. Justin Hill 49.460
5. Zach Osborne 49.461
6. Cooper Webb 49.800
7. Cole Seely 50.021
8. Jake Canada 50.380
9. Shane McElrath 50.686
10. Jessy Nelson 51.833

1. Ryan Villopoto 48.213
2. Ryan Dungey 48.217
3. Ken Roczen 48.377
4. Justin Barcia 48.521
5. Josh Hill 48.539
6. Josh Grant 48.594
7. Eli Tomac 48.671
8. Trey Canard 48.684
9. Chris Blose 48.947
10. James Stewart 48.948