Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing’s Mike Alessi celebrated his first career AMA Motocross 450-class victory and took over the points lead at the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, California, on Saturday afternoon. Alessi rode two impressive motos on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450, winning the first and finishing in the runner-up spot in the second. Although that performance was enough to secure the overall victory, the winner of the second moto was penalized by the AMA, which gave Alessi 1-1 moto victories as well as the overall he’d already earned. Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Chad Reed picked up his second podium finish in as many races at Hangtown. Although the two-time AMA Supercross Champion finished sixth in the first moto, he came back and finished third in the second, with the result being a third-place overall. Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Michael Byrne continues to rebound from injury, getting two good starts on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 before a few mishaps saw him finish17th overall.
In the 250 class, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, who won the opening-round of AMA Motocross at Glen Helen and leads the overall championship points in the 250 class, had a challenging first moto and finished seventh. In the second moto, the newly crowned 2009 AMA Supercross Lites West Coast Champion rallied and won, thus securing an overall podium finish.
Mike Alessi: “It means a lot – getting my first-ever 450 Motocross overall win. It’s great, I felt like I was riding my own race and it feels good to finally win. I rode a really consistent race, and rode really smart and I never really put myself in a position where I was riding over my head at all, so it’s just awesome to come out with the overall. I want to thank all the guys at Rockstar Makita Suzuki for doing such a great job for me and giving me an awesome bike to race in the RM-Z450.”
Chad Reed: “We’re four motos in and I’m feeling good and I’m having a lot of fun out here racing the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. On paper, I’m not really satisfied with the results but overall I’m having fun and that’s all I wanted to do. We’re making a lot of improvements on the bike and I’m just happy to be here.” Michael Byrne: “It wasn’t the greatest race for me. I got two really good starts on my Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. In the first moto, I was running fourth and then I fell on the first lap and had to come from last. In the second moto, I made a mistake and ran off the track and was in the same situation. It was a rough one, especially because everyone on the team has been working so hard and the bike is running great. I’m just not 100 percent yet and I just need to keep working at it.”
Ryan Dungey: “In the first moto, I got off to a good start but I got in a tangle and fell down and by the time I got running again I was dead last. We made the best of it and came back and tried to pick off as many people as we could and made it up to seventh. In the second moto, I just tried to gain back what I lost in the first moto. Go out there and win it was the plan and that’s what we did. Now I just want to carry this momentum into the next race.”
Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will race next at Freestone County Raceway in Wortham, Texas, on Saturday, June 6, 2009.
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