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Tomac tops Cardiff SX practice

Eli Tomac set the quickest lap in timed practice for tomorrow’s World SX opener at Cardiff. The Yamaha man headed Ken Roczen, out for the first time on his non-HRC Honda. Joey Savatgy was third while Briton Dean Wilson was sixth. Deano, out for the first time on his new Honda, was quickest in his opening free session.

Dean Wilson styling

Former SX champ Chad Reed looked uncomfortable on the full-size Supercross track as he hasn’t raced indoors for some time. He will get quicker, though. GasGas rider Jack Brunell is also not used to large tracks but is looking better in ever session.

Roczen on his Honda

Frenchman Adrian Escoffier was one of a handful of crashers but slipped off before the whoops.

Eli Tomac said on setting the bar on day one, “Today was good. This is a real track, this is the real deal. I think the track has a good mix of speed, technical, and rhythm sections. The surface is actually pretty hard, but I think that’s a good thing as it’s going to make it a little bit more technical and it will keep the passing options open. In free practice I was back and forth with Ken [Roczen] and overall I felt good. It was good to get riding as I was pretty jet-lagged before that. What’s cool about this series is that we’re bringing it international and I’m pumped to see new supercross fans.”

“My first day was actually really good,”Ken Roczen said on setting the second quickest time.“I had to shake the awkwardness off a little bit and we had brand new wheels, little things like that that feel a little stiff. The track is really hard-pack, rocky, and the berms are super flat so it made it tricky out there because we would lose traction a lot. Overall I had a really good day though; Eli and I went back and forth a couple of times having the fastest lap. I’m second and only a couple of tenths off so I’m pretty happy with how today went and I’m glad I was able to ride a little bit before we start racing tomorrow. It should be a really good day.”

“The track’s good and I think it’s going to make for great racing, that’s what’s cool about it,”third quickest man Joey Savatgy commented.“Right now we’re just starting to find some lines but the rhythm sections are giving some options, which is good for the track and good for the racing tomorrow. That’s what’s going to be the best part and it should shape up pretty well. It was getting slick and there are some marbles but I think the rhythms are built really nice, everything’s pretty clean, and it’s not like it’s a break-or-die situation out here. The whole World Supercross crew have put together a good deal and I think it’s going to be even better tomorrow.”

Brit Dylan Woocock

On going into tomorrow having set the fastest SX2 time, Derek Drake said, “Definitely a good opening day. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I went out there and was first overall and I feel ready for tomorrow. The track’s good; it’s tight and the rhythms are tight together but I felt that you could have good corner speed. The town’s cool too: I went and checked out downtown and it’s a great place. It’s exceeding my expectations so I’m looking forward to the next one already. Tomorrow I have no idea what to expect and I know that it’s going to be a different schedule to the one I’m used to with opening ceremonies and all that. But that should make it fun, we’ll have a good time, and we’ll try to bring it home on the podium.”

Max Anstie on red

Max Anstie was seventh quickest in the combined MX2 times from the first official timed sessions while American Derek Drake was fastest from Aaron Tanti and Shane McElrath. Dylan Walsh and Dylan Woodock, who both have raced some AMA Supercross mains, are getting to grips with the circuit and will improve after tomorrow’s further sessions.

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