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Rough ride for Sayles at Nashville

Hunter Sayles of Merrill entered his third Monster Energy Supercross event of the season for the first time, packed up the trailer before the main.

Sayles moved straight to the main from heat races at earlier East Series events at Minneapolis and Indianapolis but despite a nice run through the pack an early mishap prevented him from finishing in the top nine of his Heat at Nashville.

At Nashville, Sayles was slotted 15th in line for the first Heat race and while he was able to move up earlier, he dropped back to 19th on the second lap. He spent the rest of the short Heat making his way through the field and returned to 14th, a lap behind the Heat Winner Martin Davalos of Tallahassee, FL on a Kawasaki KX 250 before the checkers flew. Unfortunately, only the top nine qualified for the Main, so Sayles moved into the Last Chance field.

In the 22-rider Last Chance race, Sayles was slotted 10th but had a great start, wrapping up the first lap in second place. He battled among the top four for the first four laps but disappeared from the sheet on the fifth Lap of the seven Lap event.

Sayles powered his #367 Woodstock KTM, Jenneration MX I AM A COMEBACK, TZR, DeCal Works, Parts Unlimited, Thor, Alpinestars, 100%, Renthal, FMF, Acerbis, Hoosier, Motoseat, Maxima, Pro Filter, Rekluse, Dubya, Galfer, #SHARKNATION KTM 250 SX-F to the 30th best overall qualifying spot through a pair of Qualifying rounds.

The 52-racer field was divided into three qualifying groups. In his first attempt, Sayles posted a best lap time of 55.531 seconds, about three seconds behind the best lap of the session, posted by Ryan Sipes of Ekron, KY, also on a KTM 250.

On his second attempt, Sayles shaved nearly two full seconds off for a best lap of 53.653 seconds, good enough for 10th on the sheet, about 1.8 seconds behind Sipes who again topped the list. Overall, his lap time ranked 30th, well off the best qualifying lap time of Chase Sexton.

The East Division series will move east to New Jersey for the next round, but the AMA District 16 Motocross season will get underway on April 14 with the opening event of the season at Aztalan Cycle Club in Lake Mills.

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