Round 5 – AMA Supercross Series Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium Feb. 2, 2008
The Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing team’s return to Angel Stadium for the third race in Anaheim, California, on Saturday night saw Mike Alessi pick up another impressive sixth-place finish. So far this year, Alessi has had sixth- and fourth-place finishes at this venue. Teammate David Vuillemin finished 14th, and was still recovering from popping his knee out at last weekend’s race. In fact, the Frenchman flew home to France last week to have his personal physician work on the leg and he was still feeling the effects of the injury on Saturday night.
In the Supercross Lites class, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey continues to lead the championship points race after an 11th-place finish at the third Anaheim event. In the 15-lap main, Dungey got caught in a turn-one tangle of riders and had to charge hard on his Suzuki RM-Z250 from last place. In spite of this, the 18-year-old rider worked his way up into 11th position and salvaged as many points as possible.
Mike Alessi: “I didn’t feel that comfortable with the track in practice and I was struggling with a few sections and that kind of got my head messed up. I was just thinking about it too much and not focusing on trying to race the track. In the heat race, I got a great start on the Suzuki RM-Z450 and was out front, but that same section messed me up and a couple guys got past me. But then I kept working at it and finally got that section and I ended up third place. In the main, I was just a bit off at the start – I didn’t get a bad start, but I didn’t get a great start either. I was in the middle of the pack and passed a few guys to get into sixth. I’m still fourth in points and that’s pretty good. I just need to work more on my intensity at the beginning of the race and staying with those guys. These are the fastest guys in the world and it’s a learning process for me. I’ve got to take the good with the bad and I’m just trying to get better gradually.”
David Vuillemin: “Earlier this week, I went to see my doctor in France to get my knee in the right spot so I could race here at Anaheim. Obviously, I knew I wouldn’t be 100 percent, since I’m still struggling with injuries. In the main, I made a big mistake in the first part of the race and got passed by four or five guys right away. It’s frustrating, but that’s the way it is. I was real aware of the knee and I didn’t want to hurt it again – it’s tough when you have to deal with injuries.”
Ryan Dungey: “I have to admit I’m pretty disappointed about this weekend. We had a good heat race -- the bike was running great and we got the win. But in the main, things just didn’t go our way. But that’s racing and I’ll be back on my regular training program next week, getting ready for San Diego. It’s important to have a positive outlook and I’m not going to sit around and think about this weekend’s race. I’m looking forward and just focusing on being positive for San Diego.”
Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will race next at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2008.
Mike Alessi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #800 6th Place – Anaheim Supercross 4th Place – Overall Championship Points Standings
David Vuillemin, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, #12 14th Place – Anaheim Supercross 16th Place – Overall Championship Points Standings
Ryan Dungey, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z250, #28 11th Place – Anaheim Supercross Lites 1st Place -- Overall Championship Points Standings