- Career: 2005-Present
- DOB: 03/27/1989
- Height: 5’ 11”
- Weight: 152 lbs.
- Birthplace: Glendale, CA, United States
- Residence: Victorville, CA
- Team Manager:
#801Jeff AlessiJeff Alessi's Website
Jeff’s drastically improved riding at the end of his amateur career played a vital role in his signing with Red Bull KTM, alongside his brother Mike, for his first professional motocross season. Due partially to the fact that he would not turn 16 until March of ’05, he elected to sit out the supercross series to prepare for the kick off of the outdoor nationals at Hangtown Raceway.
In his rookie season as a professional, Jeff had some ups-and-downs but was, once again, overshadowed by the success of his brother, who was battling with Ivan Tedesco for the championship. He actually competed in both, the 125 and 250 outdoor championships in 2005—although not simultaneously—a move not often seen in the ultra-competitive world of American motocross. He finished a season-best 17th aboard his KTM 450 and a posted a best finish of ninth overall in the 125 class at the series finale at Glen Helen, a track which he’d grown up mere miles from as an amateur. Although he didn’t set the world on fire, Jeff was happy with his first season as a professional.
For Jeff, 2006 turned out to be a complete wash after a scary pre-season crash left him with two severely broken feet. Several years earlier, he’d suffered a similar crash at the US Open aboard an 80 that left him with a broken back and both feet in shambles. From then on, he had to be very careful of what he did with his feet and the nagging injury finally caught up with him in his crash while preparing for the ’06 season. With the questionable treatment of his initial foot injury combined with his pre-season get off, Jeff was forced to undergo extensive surgery to repair his feet if he ever wanted to walk normally again, let alone race professionally once more.
Jeff limped back into the series on still ailing feet that hadn’t fully healed from surgery and with his conditioning far below where he felt it needed to be for the 2007 season. On top of his obvious health problems, he was encountering serious focus issues that left him wondering about his future in racing. Despite multiple hurdles to overcome, the season turned out okay for him, as he scored three top-ten finishes in his first season of supercross, following that up with multiple highs and lows through the outdoors.
After being dropped from Red Bull KTM, Jeff found himself left to contend the 2008 AMA Supercross series as a full-fledged privateer. After competing in only two rounds of the series, Jeff was faced with the daunting question of whether-or-not to hang up his boots, and “get a real job,” or give it absolutely everything he had to transform himself into a factory racer. The drop of the opening gate of the 2008 AMA/Toyota Motocross Nationals marked the re-birth of Jeff Alessi. He‘d made the decision to go for his dream of being a factory motocross racer and had put his nose to the grindstone in preparation for what may have been his last chance. With his brother, several key sponsors and his personal checking account footing the money to get to the races, Jeff started chipping away at the task of making himself one of the elite racers of American motocross.
Midway through the season, after a string of strong finishes, good news started circulating the industry that Jeff would be trying out for a factory ride with Red Bull Honda. His hard work had gotten him a chance to try out for the team but, unfortunately for Jeff, the Red Bull Honda ride was handed to another struggling rider, Jimmy Albertson for the remainder of the season. Although he was not chosen for the factory ride, he kept his focus and finished out the nationals strong, even grabbing the holeshot and leading the field for a short period at Spring Creek. At the close of the summer, Jeff only finished outside of the top-ten four times and finished a career-best eighth in the AMA Toyota Motocross Nationals as second-best privateer of the series.
After several mediocre years as a professional, Jeff now seems to have found the focus and determination to become what he and his father, Tony, always dreamed he could be—a factory motocross racer.
As an amateur, Jeff Alessi struggled to step out of the shadow of his older, faster brother, Mike. Through the early days, he was, by his own admission, significantly slower than his brother and struggled to improve through the amateur nationals. When the Alessi boys made the switch to ride for Honda, Jeff felt like he started to close the once insurmountable advantage his brother held over him. There were several instances aboard their Honda 80s where he believed he was the faster of the two, and he even took a couple overall wins despite his brother’s well-known speed.
The Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals proved to continually be a place of hardship and heartbreak for Jeff. On more than one occasion, he found himself in contention for a championship heading into the third and final moto, only to have things turn sour for him. One year, he watched his championship dreams wash away when his rear-brake pedal got wrapped around the back of his bike, while another time, he was disqualified for failing to put a screen in his air filter. As frequently happens at Loretta’s, things just never came together for Jeff to walk away an amateur national champion. By the end of his amateur career, Jeff had found the speed he needed—although unsure of how he actually found it—to make the transition into professional motocross.
As many longtime motocross fans and industry insiders know, it’s been a bumpy road for Jeff Alessi. He struggled to find his way out of the shadow cast by his brother, Mike, throughout his youth, and fought through several very tough seasons of racing. Through it all, one thing remains the same: Jeff’s infectious smile and fun loving attitude have always been there. Often you can find him cruising around piloting a pit bike, striking up conversations with whoever may cross his path and, after a full season as a privateer, his respect and gratitude for everything he’s been given becomes apparent within seconds of talking with him.
In addition to his fun-loving nature and appreciation for his support, Jeff’s a top-notch brother. When asked about an on-track “incident” some years before that had Jeff waiting alongside the track to get rough with a rider who was racing Mike more aggressively than he’d have liked, his candid response was, “When it comes to my brother, I don’t care how big you are, I’ll kick your ass.” Justin Fisk
Contributors: Alissa Gilligan , Bad Billy