450 Words: Steel City

August 27, 2007 3:03pm

After all of the “what if” scenarios we have been painting for the past several years we now have a bonafide four-rider dogfight for the title. A lot of things had to happen just right for the points to read the way they did at the conclusion of Steel City. Grant Langston and Mike Alessi needed big days. They got them. The series points leaders, Tim Ferry and Andrew Short, needed to have steady, but unspectacular afternoons. Again, this event horizon occurred, and like a gift from the racing gods, we travel into the final two rounds of the series with a ten-point blanket covering four title hopefuls. Here’s how this all came to be.

As per the norm, Ferry started around 15th position and rode 15th-place lap times for the first half of the race, then poured it on as the race wore on. While he only climbed up to fourth, he gained two points over the fifth-place finishing Short. Meanwhile, the swing of momentum Grant Langston began back at Millville had snowballed into a burning crucible of determination while dropping a couple embers into #800’s breadbasket. Everyone knew it was about to go down when the four horsemen pushed to the line for moto two. How fired up was Windham? How much did Alessi have left in the tank? Could Langston finish them off?

Everyone got what they deserved when Kevin, Mike, and Grant made their way 1-2-3 by lap five. Then it was on! All three riders deserve equal props for their determination as they all took risks, dug deep, and tried every trick that their experience on two wheels had taught them. But just when it got the most intense, one rider grit his teeth and got just a little bit meaner. Grant Langston was a man among boys those final four laps and he earned it the hard way. But I have to say, I’ve never seen Mike Alessi fight like that. Typically, once he gets passed he is finished. Not this time. Mike made his way to the front with a brown front number plate and came back on the two veterans more than once. Watching Carmichael and Stewart go at it is amazing, but seeing three riders throw down for 30-minutes plus two laps all the way to the checkered flag was simply amazing.

Grant Langston now has the wind behind his sails and words like these are what make motocross what it is, “I wanted to win so bad. We gave it everything we had. I thought someone would get tired or make a mistake but everyone just hung it out all the way to the end.”

Now, on to Texas.