The euphoria of the weekend escalated as the first moto rocketed down the start stretch at Washougal. MCR’s own Mike Alessi grabbed his typical holeshot and flew around the difficult, slippery track. To the delight of the crowd, and those watching the race live on television, one of the best battles of the year ensued with Ryan Dungey giving it his all in pursuit of the #800. The two had the crowd on their feet as they battled wheel to wheel until the halfway point when Dungey fell. Quickly remounting, and with the help of a poor lap from Alessi, the two riders found themselves attached yet again. Alessi did what no other rider has been able to do lately, hold off an incredible charge from Dungey. Using a combination of speed, skill and excellent line selection, Mike Alessi crossed the finish line to earn his first moto win of the year and the first moto win ever for MotoConcepts Racing.
The second moto would see a reversal in the starting order at the first turn as Dungey got out front early. Alessi was slightly off the pace and would ride a smart, smooth race to finish second for second overall. “We’ve been working so hard, we had a plan, we’ve followed that plan and accomplished another goal which was to win a moto. To be honest, I wasn’t prepared to go that fast for two full motos. It’s taken me a few years to get this speed again and I really pushed myself in the first moto,” explained Mike Alessi. “I’m proud of the moto win and really had fun racing in front of those fans and the MotoConcepts employees.” Huge congratulations go out to #800!
Another rider to have his best finish of the year was Vince Friese. After an epic race the Thursday before in Portland, Vince got great starts on his MCR450 worked his way through the pack and was one of the fastest riders on the track. A crash hurt his overall position but earning a solid 12th pace amongst the worlds best riders was certainly a remarkable accomplishment.
In the Lites class, it was a day the likeable Jake Canada would rather forget. After a poor start in Moto 1, Jake did what he always does, pass rider after rider. Working his way up to 9th behind Ivan Tedesco, Jakes moto came to an end when his bike quit early in the moto. MCR mechanics found the issue, an electrical malfunction, and knew Jake would come back strong in the second moto. With the last gate pick, Jake was basically in last off the gate but moved to 28th by the end of the first lap. Eating a roost buffet of dirt and rocks around the Washougal circuit, Jake picked up another dozen + riders to finish a respectable 14th. Better days will return Jake Canada as the series moves to Southwick
Continuing the emotionally charged event for MotoConcepts was the “Pit Bull”. In the WMX class, Mariana Balbi rode with the leaders all day and with a burst of speed, and the fastest lap of the race in Moto 2, Mariana stood atop the podium finishing 3rd overall. “I’m just so happy right now, this is one of my favorite tracks, and the crowd was really into our battle,” explained Mariana Balbi. “I have to thank Mike Genova, Tony Alessi, Vince Friese, and my mechanic James for everything they’ve done, and believing in me all year. I saw them all on the side of the track just screaming for me and there was no way I was going to let them down.”
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