Anaheim SX Saturday Practice UpdateSaturday, January 7, 2006 | 4:29 PM
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The Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series is nearly underway, as practice has come to a close here at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Even though a lot of the contenders raced each other just a few weeks ago in Canada, there's still plenty of buzz here for supercross, because it's still Anaheim, and the place is already packed.
Still, one thing that didn't change from Canada was James Stewart going very fast, as he logged the fastest lap in both practice sessions. But Ricky Carmichael was right there, just .2 seconds behind in the second session. David Vuillemin had the third fastest time in session one with Chad Reed fourth, both around two seconds back of James and Ricky. In session two, Reed turned it up a notch and grabbed the third fastest time, but it was still about a second off of the lead two.
Stewart did have a scare when he crashed in the whoops in the second practice. He got up okay but took some time to restart his bike. Rumors have been circulating that Stewart has had trouble relighting his 450. We'll see if that's a factor this year.
A few riders have returned to the track after missing the Canadian rounds of Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP - namely Honda riders Jeremy McGrath, Travis Preston and Ernesto Fonseca. MC looks (and sounds) good on the two stroke, but his lap times are a bit off the pace. Mike LaRocco is also here on the Sobe/Samsung Wireless Honda and wearing No Fear gear, and he's on a 450. As always, The Rock is right around the top five on times.
In the Supercross Lites class, Billy Laninovich has looked very strong on his Sobe/Samsung Wireless Honda. He was fastest in the first session and second fastest in session two, with Andrew Short out front on his Team Honda machine. The usual suspects are fast - Langston and Ramsey - but there will be a lot of eyes on three big-name rookies making their supercross debuts tonight: Mike Alessi, Ryan Villopoto and Jason Lawrence. All have shown moments of speed and moments of trouble.
Best of all the weather is awesome, the stands are already packed, and the place looks great. Qualifiers have just begun, so get ready for supercross.
To listen to the live webcast, scroll to www.supercross.cc.com Also, tomorrow's race will air on CBS at 12:30 p.m. EST and 9:30 a.m. PST.