Spokane, WA -- MotoConcepts Racing rolled into Buchanan, Michigan, site of the famous Red Bud track for one of the most anticipated races of the year. The extreme weather that prevailed across the country did not spare the riders and fans as the temperature quickly soared above 100° by mid-morning. For the MotoConcepts Racing team the heat would not be the only challenge they faced throughout the day.
For MCR team captain Mike Alessi, Red Bud would be a day of highs and lows as well. Another victim of the Moto 1 gremlin, Alessi was involved in a brutal first turn crash. “I don’t know what it is about getting run over at Red Bud,” a laughing Mike Alessi explained in reference to his horrific crash two years ago in which nearly the entire pack ran over his concussed, motionless body. “I went down hard and had at least 3 or 4 guys run me over. Mike Genova, our owner, actually helped me get up and I knew I was in a position to fight for points, points, and more points.” Alessi raced from 36th to finish the moto in 11th.
Moto 2 for the MCR star would prove much better. Back to his typical holeshot, Alessi led for a few laps before series points leader and KTM Factory rider Ryan Dungy got past. Alessi rode great and held off the charges of James “Bubba” Stewart for the entire moto and finished the moto in 2nd place. With his 11-2 moto finishes, Alessi finished 6th overall and maintained 2nd in the series points standings. “I’m very happy its one of my best seasons ever, very happy and thankful with MotoConcepts, to help me, push me and we do the best we can. MCR is really behind me and let me take the bike I want to the starting line.”
Alessi’s 450 teammate, Vince Friese, had a terrible start in Moto 1, going down early to circle lap 1 in the 30th position. Working his way through the pack, Vince would eventually finish in the 20th position. Moto 2 would also prove difficult for Vince as a mid-pack start kept him involved in much action throughout the moto. After working his way up, Vince collided with Factory Kawasaki rider Jake Weimer and would be unable to finish the day.
When the gate dropped for the 250 class, the #57 of Jake Canada once again found himself in the customary position of mid-pack. Knowing he had the speed and endurance, Jake settled into his race pace and started his typical procession of passing riders. The likeable racer had worked his way into the Top 10 but on the last lap disaster struck as his MCR250 ran out of fuel. “It was completely surprising to me and could have been much worse,” explained Jake Canada. “I had ridden so well and when my ran out of gas I thought for sure I’d be out of the points. Luckily, we had run such a strong pace and the leader had crossed the checkered flag that I actually finished in 13th; not as good as a top 10 but certainly better than 30th.” In the second moto, with concerns about the fuel efficiency, Jake had to make like a NASCAR racer and find his way into the pits for a refuel. With the speed of the 250 class, this move, while necessary, obviously adversely effected his moto finish. Jake took the adversity in stride and was able to salvage a 19th in the moto for 15th overall on the day. Instead of giving up, Jake rode great in both motos and is in the TOP 10 overall for the series, the highest ranked non-factory rider.
In the WMX class Mariana Balbi had one of her best days of the 2012 season and showed the Red Bud faithful that she is one of the riders that has the ability to win. While the first moto did not go her way and the Moto 1 gremlins for the MCR team struck again while in 2nd place until a crash, Moto 2 was on of the highlights of Mariana’s career. With a great start, Mariana rode up front with the leaders, made key passes and worked her way up into the runner-up position at the checkered flag.We thank those supporters of the team including MotoConcepts, JT Racing, WE ALL RIDE, FMF, Silkolene, MB1 Suspension, MotoGraphics, Pro Taper, NorthWest Steel Fab, Boyesen, Alpinestars, Xtrig, Dunlop, UFO, Tuf Racing, KSR Wheels, DT1, MotoOptics, All Balls, Galfer, Supersprox, Excel, Hinson, Airway MX Park, Faction Mx.