After heavy rains and a nice walk through the streets of New Orleans, I finally made it to the Superdome. It took me more time to go through the stadium's various security lobotomized representative before I could really get in than it took me to fly from Chicago.
Track doesn't look too difficult, with two big triples, 10 corners, a small sand section in a corner and a short whoops section. After the first practice session, Bubba is turning in 51'483, Chad behind in 52'086 and K-dub in 52'782.
Pourcel is the fastest in the Lites, Stroupe is 4th behind Davalos and Izzi.
5:44 p.m. update
Practice has been finished for a while. I went down on the floor to shoot a bit. Photographers have a pretty restricted area but there was some interesting action. A few spectacular crashes in the non-seeded Lites. I was standing talking with Italian photographer Pietro Ambrosioni when a guy overshot Turn 10 and landed among the people on the floor, he was lucky to miss the rhinos that were parked. 1 bad over-the-bar on the exit of that turn but the injury wasn't too bad.
Had a quick chat with Broc Glover, I have to try to get him the helmet for the Breathe Easy Ride this evening. Doc Bodnar and I tried to have a conversation but that man is busy like nobody during practice, especially when non-seeded are on the track.
Interesting thing I saw before the second 450 practice. Larry Brooks was having a conversation with the Dirt Wurx guys, asking for changes to the one corner of the track. Keith McCarthy also took FIM John Gallagher to that same corner to show him. They have now changed it and took the line option out (but no one was using the second line anyway).
Bubba is very fast, Chad right behing along with Windham, no real change from the 1st practice session. Mike Alessi is 11th only but thing are different during the race. Mike is on a roll right now, despite losing 3rd to DM last week in Daytona, and may be able to finish Top 5. K-Dub is on fire, here at home. Josh Hill and Andrew Short dropped their time in the 52' too, like Reed and Windham.
Impressive qualification time for Justin Brayton in 6th.
The Lite race is going to be interesting because Davalos, Izzi, Stroupe and Jesseman are in the same second. Of course, Christophe Pourcel is flying, scoring the 2nd fastest time of the day, right behind Bubba and ahead of Reed!!
Chuck was supposed to go get some beers...
nothing happening on the track, the crew is preparing the Intro ceremony.
Opening Ceremonies over, Chad, Kevin and James are doing a parade lap.
450s are on the parade lap.
Stroupe wins the Lites, Jesseman passes by Wharton (hard) in the last corner for 2nd.
First podium for Blake "Purple Rain" Wharton.