Both Alessi and his teammate Andrew Short looked strong upon arrival at Qwest Field when Short qualified 4th fastest in timed practice and Alessi was 10th. Both riders were placed in the first heat based upon their qualifying times.
It was in the heat race where Alessi first showed the Seattle crowd that he was ‘Ready to Race’ when he earned another signature holeshot aboard his KTM 350 SX-F. Alessi maintained the lead for the majority of the first lap before he was passed by James Stewart. Short was next to pass Alessi and moved into 2nd. Both Short and Alessi maintained their top three positions to qualify into the main event. Collectively their 2nd and 3rd place heat finishes marked the best for the duo this season.
Alessi had another decent start when the gate dropped for the main event, rounding the first corner in 6th position. He quickly moved into 4th when two riders bobbled through the whoops and continued to charge forward. On the next lap he made a pass on Kevin Windham to take 3rd and even closed in on Chad Reed for 2nd on the following lap. Alessi made a mistake in the whoops on the fourth lap and allowed Windham to get back around. Alessi maintained 4th position until the eighth lap when he got cross-rutted on a triple and went over the bars landing on the cement pad on the side of the race track. He quickly recovered only losing two positions. Two laps later, Ryan Dungey suffered a crash and allowed Alessi to regain 5th position. That position swap was short-lived when Alessi suffered another set back in the same section he crashed in earlier, this time landing off the track but safely riding it out to reenter behind Dungey once again. Once back on course, Alessi held his pace and went on to finish his best race this season with a 6th place result.
“I felt really good all day today and my bike was working great. I have really picked up my training program as I begin preparation for the longer motos outdoors and it is paying off. I am excited for the break this weekend and looking forward to spending some time at home before heading to Salt Lake City,” remarked Alessi.
Alessi’s teammate, Short, did not have the race he anticipated. Short had a great jump off the line but came together with Windham and then collided with Austin Stroupe sending both riders to the ground in the first turn. Short was slow to recover as the bike had landed on his leg in the crash and he was also left with a broken clutch lever. Despite starting approximately 40 seconds down from the leaders and without a clutch lever, he charged forward to finish 10th overall at the end of the race.
Short commented, “As bad as the main event went for me, I am actually excited about my night in Seattle. I rode great in practice and in my heat and am pleased with the progress I am making. I am not particularly found of the deep rutted courses and it was rewarding to know that I was competitive with my lap times tonight. It’s unfortunate that I had some set backs in the main event but overall I am pretty happy with how I rode tonight. I am looking forward to the final two races.”
Next Event: Salt Lake City, UT – April 30, 2011
Overall Results –
3) Chad Reed
5) Ryan Dungey
6) Mike Alessi – KTM
7) Kyle Regal
9) Tommy Hahn
10)Andrew Short – KTM
Overall Point Standings –
1) Ryan Villopoto – 293
2) Chad Reed – 287
3) Ryan Dungey – 286
4) James Stewart – 284
5) Trey Canard – 255
6) Andrew Short – 196
7) Kevin Windham – 187
8) Davi Millsaps – 158
9) Justin Brayton – 14110) Ivan Tedesco – 134