World Supercross wildcard Eli Tomac was quickest on day one of WSX (450) class qualifying in Cardiff this afternoon, while Derek Drake topped the times in the SX2 (250) class.

After all the build-up to the British Grand Prix finally kick-started a new era of global supercross, and it was 2020 world champion Tomac that set the fastest time of the day on his Yamaha YZ450F.

Two tenths of a second off Tomac’s time was arch rival Ken Roczen, the Honda Genuine Honda Racing pilot himself just two tenths up on Rick Ware Racing’s Joey Savatgy, the Kawasaki-mounted rider making it three manufacturers in the top three.

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The time sheets in the SX2 class were topped by 23-year-old American Derek Drake on the MDK Motorsports KTM, with two tenths of a second splitting the top-three. Craig Dack Racing’s Aaron Tanti finished the day second quickest, in front of Shane McElrath, meaning Rick Ware Racing is the only team with two riders inside the top three across both classes.

“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,” said Tomac.

“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.”

The second round of timed practice begins from 13:00 tomorrow, local time, before the grand opening takes place at 17:00.

Heat races start from 17:30 before the WSX Superpole session that will determine the final gate pick for the top-10. The World Supercross Championship’s innovative three-race main event format – with shorter race durations increasing the overall level of intensity and unpredictability – start from 18:30 for the SX2 class, with the gate dropping for the WSX main events at 19:45.

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