Yes, everyone knows that Mike Alessi is a great starter, but he was beaten to the first turn by Texas resident Andrew Short and former Texas resident Ivan Tedesco, both of the Honda Red Bull Racing team. However, it was only a matter of turns before Alessi zipped by both of them and took the lead, never to be headed.
Alessi’s closest rival and teammate, Chad Reed, started just inside the top five and pressured the two Hondas for a few laps before a crash cost him a couple of spots. Forced to work his way around JGR/Toyota Yamaha’s Cody Cooper and Josh Grant (running fifth and fourth), Reed got Cooper, but could never get close enough to the top four to make a charge.
Alessi took the win ahead of Short, Grant, Tedesco and Reed.
In moto two, Alessi led a few extra turns, as he actually got the holeshot ahead of GEICO Powersports Honda’s Dan Reardon, Short, TLD/Red Bull/Lucas Oil Honda’s Jake Moss, Monster Energy Kawasaki replacement rider Ricky Dietrich, Moss’ teammate Chris Blose and Reed. Reed begins moving forward slowly and eventually gets hung up behind Dietrich for a few laps before moving past both he and Moss, then past Short, and then Reardon (on the ninth of 16 laps) to move into second. By that time, Alessi was too far gone, and Reed wasn’t thinking much about chasing Alessi down anyway.
Due to a stomach ailment, Reed – not knowing what position he was in – nearly quit part way through the race and was surprised when he pulled into the pits afterward to find out he finished second. Short was third, then Reardon, Tommy Hahn, Dietrich, Byrne and Moss. Four of the top eight in the moto (Moss, Byrne, Reardon and Reed) were Australian.
Alessi now carries a 31-point lead into the High Point National next Saturday.
GEICO Powersports Honda’s Trey Canard – in the closest thing he has to a home race, being from Oklahoma – came out of the gate like a bullet to grab the holeshot at the beginning of the first moto, and he began pulling away, only to wash out the front end and go down on the second lap, handing the lead to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel while he remounted in 11th.
Pourcel was never challenged, while Dungey eventually moved passed Metcalfe and into second, and on the last lap, Canard caught his teammate Metcalfe and passed him for third. Metcalfe hung on for fourth, in front of Tyla Rattray, Searle, Wharton (who suffered a crash in the moto) and the rest of the field.
Canard attempted to make a break, but somehow Dungey flew around the outside of the two riders between them and then set off for Canard out front. Just before the midway point, Dungey managed to find a way past the feisty Honda rider and began to pull away. Canard eventually lost a lot of ground to Dungey, then began making it back up when, at the two-lap board, he went off the track, shooting down his only hope of catching Dungey. Dungey took the moto, and overall, win. Canard hung on for second over teammate Wharton, and then Pourcel was fourth despite starting out well outside the top 10.
Heading into High Point, Pourcel and Dungey are only six points apart in the championship, with Canard trailing only a further 10 points back.