Although obviously tough, Alessi wasn’t fast in practice, qualifying 28th. His bum knee didn’t hamper his starting ability much, as he took the 28th gate pick and parlayed it into a second-place start, but he lost a few spots on the first lap until he came together with JGR/Toyota Yamaha’s Josh Grant and went down, holding his bad knee as he sat on the ground. He got back up and circulated for a couple laps before dropping out of the day, his championship hopes officially and finally shattered.
Honda Red Bull Racing’s Ivan Tedesco grabbed the early lead in both motos and led every lap on the day, going 1-1 to win his first ever 450cc National at the same venue where he won his first ever 250cc national a few years ago. Despite failing to score points in either moto at the opening round, Tedesco is now only 35 points out of the championship lead.
Similar to his teammate Tedesco, hometown boy Andrew Short ran second pretty much all day, going 2-2 for second overall.
One surprise on the day was Canidae/Motosport Kawasaki’s Tommy Hahn, who went 7-3 for third overall, even passing Short at one point in moto two before falling and giving the spot back.
Points leader Chad Reed was fourth overall with a 7-3 and still leads the points with seven rounds left to run.
In the 250cc class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel kept his first-moto pattern intact, getting the holeshot and then holding off his teammate Jake Weimer for the lead for the entire moto. Division 7/Star Racing Yamaha’s Broc Tickle was a strong third in the first moto in front of GEICO Powersports Honda’s Blake Wharton and Muscle Milk KTM’s Tommy Searle.
Weimer got the holeshot in moto two, possibly with help, as Pourcel’s gate bounced when it went down, hitting him in the foot peg area under the bike and nearly causing him to fall as the rest of the field got away. However, Weimer decided to make it interesting, crashing out of the lead and handing it to GEICO Powersports Honda’s Justin Barcia, who led the next seven or so laps while Weimer got up in third, worked his way around Muscle Milk KTM’s Martin Davalos, and then slowly chased Barcia down.
Just past the halfway point, Weimer took the lead back from Barcia and that was it. Weimer took the win – his first ever moto and overall win – in front of Barcia, Searle, Dungey, Metcalfe, Pourcel, Matt Lemoine, Tickle and Tyla Rattray.
Pourcel was second overall while Searle was third. Dungey was fifth overall.