Consider, even, the start of day: After almost three weeks of waiting for the stars in his head to clear, Alessi not only made a game-day decision to ride, he was the first rider to come around in the day's opening A practice. He'd wind up third fastest on the timing sheets for the first session, and fourth in the second.
In the first moto, the 800 bike ripped such a start that it ripped the starting gate right apart. Alessi was 15 feet out of the gate with the gate still in front of him -- yet he somehow came out of the first corner in third and held that position throughout the race to put it on the box... only to be docked a spot for the aforementioned damage to Mt. Morris property. Alessi would be scored fourth.
Then he ripped another runner in the second race and went on a flyer -- gapping the field in unknown conditions through standing water that hid holes and ruts from the first round of motos. Alessi's opening laps were three or more seconds faster than the competition, building a massive lead he would surrender only after colliding with a lapped rider in a slippery, deeply rutted hook turn at the top of the course. He remounted still in first, barely, but quickly succumbed to the charge of Chad Reed. Whereas a penalty would keep him off the box in the first race, the charging rival Ryans, Villopoto and Dungey, would do the same in the closing laps.
Good starts aside, Alessi spent the day entrenched at or near the top of the leader board. The only riders to finish ahead of him (on the track) were the top three in the points race, Reed, Villopoto, and Dungey. Those are big shoes on the podium, and Alessi still wants to fill them.
For the first two rounds Alessi's outdoor season was a non-starter. Now, the starter is back.
You can reach Steve Dye at firstname.lastname@example.org