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Thunder Valley: Friday night practice notes

Alessi and Grant Post Top Lap Times in Lakewood Night Practice at Toyota Trucks AMA National from Thunder Valley LAKEWOOD, Colo. (June 27, 2008) -- As the sun set behind the Rocky Mountains, the introduction of a new nighttime format ...

Alessi and Grant Post Top Lap Times in Lakewood Night Practice at Toyota Trucks AMA National from Thunder Valley

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (June 27, 2008) -- As the sun set behind the Rocky Mountains, the introduction of a new nighttime format translated into new names atop the lap charts in the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Presented by FMF. Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Mike Alessi and Geico Powersports Honda's Josh Grant posted fast lap times for the first time this season in preparation for Saturday's main event at the Toyota Trucks AMA National at Thunder Valley Presented by Division 7 Insulation.

A perennial front runner all season, Alessi finally broke through to the top of the class as series points leader James Stewart sat out the day's practice session. Alessi posted a quick time of 2:15.345.

"It felt good," said Alessi. "The track was exceptionally good in the first practice. The second practice in the dark was a little bit sketchy (but) it wasn't that bad. Everything's a little different at night and reacts different. I'll see what (James Stewart's) got tomorrow. I'm sure he's going to be fast like always."

Red Bull Honda's Andrew Short nabbed the second position with a time of 2:17.839 with teammate Davi Millsaps clocking in at 2:18.912 for third.

The reason for Stewart's absence was unconfirmed but Monster Energy Kawasaki representatives fully expect him to race in Sunday's finale.

After missing the first four races of the season with an injury, Grant returned to the circuit and quickly made his presence felt by posting the fastest time of the day in his first race back with a time of 2:16.531.

"It was good," explained Grant. "But it wasn't a goal to come out and set the world on fire. I did my own thing today and that's all I really wanted to do. I'm just going to go out there and do the same thing tomorrow. I have no pressure on myself, there's four rounds already gone. Just go out and do the best for my team."

Grant's Trey Canard was second with a time of 2:17.691, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto posted the third fastest lap in 2:19.212.

Saturday's main event action for the Toyota Trucks AMA National from Thunder Valley kicks off at 6 p.m. MT. Live streaming video coverage of the first two motos can be seen on live.motocross.com while SPEED picks up the remaining motos, beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET.

-credit: ama

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Series AMA
Drivers Josh Grant , Mike Alessi , James Stewart , Ryan Villopoto , Trey Canard , Davi Millsaps , Andrew Short