Interviews by Jordan Roberts and Steve Matthes
Mike Alessi, MotoConcepts, 6th in SX Class
Good holeshot, led six or seven laps, and all of a sudden the bike started blubbering! That’s when Brayton got me, I was doing that 2-3 out of the first turn. As soon as I did the triple the bike started blubbering, I cased it, and after that, to the finishline the bike was just getting worse. I was helpless. It was a bummer because I definitely felt I had podium speed. I just can’t catch a break right now. I’m riding good, and when I do put myself in good positions, I get screwed every time. Sixth is great, but I wanted that podium so bad. Everyone is working hard, the bike is coming around, I just want to get my bike to where it can go 100 percent of the race. It’s not the team’s fault, it’s just things happening.
"I was helpless. It was a bummer because I definitely felt I had podium speed." -- Mike Alessi
Darryn Durham, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, 2nd in Lites Class
Have you ever seen a start like that?
No, just GNCC racing! Good thing it wasn’t dead engine, or Roczen [electric start] would have been gone!
What was it like?
It was weird and they were like “We’re going to do a staggered start?” And I was like, “Two gate drops! What do you mean?” Yeah, everyone was freaking out. It worked out alright, I came through to second, I wish I wouldn’t have let Wharton by before that restart, it would have made life easier. I had actually moved over on him and Barcia out of the gate to make sure I had the inside. But he rode good, made some good passes and he just rode good tonight. I won my first heat race tonight so that was big. Second in the main is good, but I want to get a win in the main before it’s over.
You were battling with Roczen in that heat. And it looked like you knew what you were doing, like “this guy is going to do that, I’m going to do this.”
Yeah, I had a good grip on what was going on. It was good, hopefully I can win a main event soon.
"Second in the main is good, but I want to get a win in the main before it’s over." -- Darryn Durham
Jake Canada, Team MotoConcepts, 5th place in the Lites class
I started out sixth in practice, which was my best time in practice so that was good. In the heat race I got a good start. I almost got the holeshot but I came in a little deep. I was third behind [Tyler] Bowers, got by Bowers, and then [Ken] Roczen got me. I ended up third in the heat, which was good. I’m happy with that. In the main, which was crazy… I haven’t ever seen that before. Off the start I locked elbows with Lemoine and we both got squirrely. I got a bad start. I went around that first corner and I got stuck behind everyone. Then I messed up through the rhythm and was almost last. I picked off a couple guys, got into tenth, and then they threw the red flag. They had us line up like we were at a fair race to restart it.
Were a bunch of the guys confused? Did anyone have any idea what was going on?
I didn’t know what was going on and Bowers knew because that’s what they do in Arenacross. And he was telling me and I was like, really… So, that was different, but it benefited me. I started in tenth and was able to squeeze my way through some guys real quick and get into fifth place and stay in fifth place. That’s my best finish, and I wanted to be in the top five, so I’m pumped on tonight.
Davi Millsaps, JGR Yamaha, 3rd place in SX class
Racer X: This is your second podium in a row. That’s got to feel good, right?
Yeah, it was definitely good, especially coming off of a podium last weekend. It was good. I’m just pumped I can do it for the team, especially with losing James.
You’re obviously looking to keep this streak alive…
I’d love to keep it alive. I’ve got a couple more races to do it and hopefully I can keep fourth in points. I’ll keep working on it, and go home every week and work harder and harder, and hopefully get a win.
"I’m just pumped I can do it for the team, especially with losing James." -- Davi Millsaps
Justin Brayton, Muscle Milk Honda, 2nd in SX class
The night went pretty good. To start out with a heat win, that’s always good. I think the main thing is just great starts. My bike was awesome out of the gate tonight and that was the difference. I wish I could’ve gotten the lead a little sooner in the Main Event and kind of get that gap right away. Overall, I’m happy with the night—to come up with a second and keep building. I’m excited to have a good week and come into Toronto ready to go.
Holding off Villopoto in the heat race—what did that do for your confidence going into the Main?
I think that was good—to hold him off, that’s awesome. Anytime you can beat or run with Villopoto, the guy’s an awesome champion and a great rider, I think it’s definitely a confidence builder. Like I said, my starts—I think getting out there and getting some fresh air and just going. It’s like practice and doing laps back home. I’m excited to get those starts down. I’m excited to do that in Toronto.
"Anytime you can beat or run with Villopoto, the guy’s an awesome champion and a great rider, I think it’s definitely a confidence builder." -- Justin Brayton
Cole Seely, Muscle Milk Honda, 5th in SX class
Racer X: I missed it, but I heard you had a pretty good spill in practice. What happened?
Yeah, I just crashed right before the finish in the under of the over/under bridge. I just kind of twisted my leg a little bit and hurt my knee and hip. I went over to Asterisk and Eddie hooked me up and got me all taped up. I felt good going into the night. I almost didn’t race but I’m glad I did. Obviously, coming out with a fifth which is my best 450 finish yet.
And you had to fight for those positions too. You didn’t start in fifth.
Yeah, in the heat race I passed for the lead and crash right away. I finish eighth so I had to start with sixteenth gate pick, which is way wide. I tried to get a good start from there. I started ninth or tenth and made my way past a couple of guys and found myself in fifth by the end of the race.
"I almost didn’t race but I’m glad I did." -- Cole Seely