Houston Afternoon ReportSaturday, April 6, 2013 | 3:00 PM
Welcome back to Monster Energy Supercross, as the one-and-only break in the championship concludes with this weekend’s race in Houston. And the boys have a challenge in front of them, as the Houston track packs some unique obstacles and one heck of a set of whoops, as well as some softer, tacky dirt.
The whoops proved to be quite a challenge in the untimed practice sessions, as even top 450 riders like Ryan Dungey and Justin Barcia were hard pressed to stay on top of them all the way to the end. Seriously, the very best riders in the world were really struggling through there. But don’t expect things to stay that way. With this softer dirt, the whoops are going to break down, and that means the track crew will have to roll them in after each session, and they’ll likely get smaller by race time. Further, after the first practice sessions, the crew eliminated the first two whoops, but only on the right side, which leaves them on the outside heading into the next 180 right hander. So riders have an option of getting a good drive through the whoops, but they’ll be set up to be block passed by the time they get to the corner.
By the way, Kevin Windham actually headed down to the track with a shovel to reshape the face of some of those whoops. Pretty cool.
The track also looks cool because the first turn literally runs underneath the finish line, between the double. That first turn is only used off the start, by the way, so you won’t have riders racing underneath each other during the laps.
Track already looks rutted, but our man Jason Thomas tells us it will actually get better as the day goes on. The corners don’t get worked between the untimed and first timed practice, so the track has taken on a lot of laps without getting a fix. JT says once they repack it in between practices, it will get better.
Not much to report in the news department. Trey Canard is back after missing Toronto with a concussion, he’s been on the bike a few times since the injury. Tyler Bowers is here as the lone rider for Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, but Dean Wilson and Darryn Durham are here signing autographs. Dean says he’s feeling better and should definitely be back for the start of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Nationals at Hangtown.
No, Chad Reed this weekend, by the way, he had knee surgery after Toronto and hopes to be back soon.
Some chatter yesterday about Eleven10 Mods’ PJ Larsen not racing Houston, as he tweeted that his bike didn’t show up. Turns out there was some confusion for the team, which thought Larsen had signed a deal to race in Australia and was leaving before the Houston race. But Larsen was staying for Houston, so Eleven10 had to put a bike together. The Rock River Yamaha team brought down a spare frame and some other parts, and Eleven10 has Larsen’s mechanic fly out with a motor and suspension, and they combined it all this morning to put a bike together. So, Larsen is racing.
That’s it for now. See you this afternoon with a practice report.
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