Prairie City, CA – Jagermeister/KTM rider Mike Alessi reinforced that the KTM 350 SX-F is a bike that can run with the 450cc machines after earning 4-1 moto scores for 2nd overall at the opening round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship at the Hangtown Classic.
The week started for Alessi at the Hangtown press conference at the State Capitol building on Thursday morning. Alessi was repeatedly questioned by competitors and media for his choice in racing a 350 SX-F machine – 100cc less than the competition. Alessi answered the skeptics during the second moto on Saturday afternoon when he pulled the holeshot on his new machine and led every lap of the race – earning the bikes first U.S. win.
Alessi’s second moto win coupled with his 4th place finish in moto one after a great battle with Josh Grant and Davi Millsaps earned the KTM rider 2nd overall for the day. Alessi now sits 2nd in points, just two points behind leader Chad Reed.
In the Motocross Lites class FMF/KTM rider, Tommy Searle, was ready to prove that he had been putting in the hard work to put himself in contention for a top three finish since his injury at the beginning of the West Supercross Lites season earlier this year. He qualified with the 9th fastest practice time – running times in the same second as six of the guys qualifying ahead of him.
At the start of the first moto, Searle was running 3rd as they came around the first lap. Christophe Pourcel had the early lead followed by Trey Canard, then Searle and Eli Tomac. The top four remained close throughout the whole moto rarely changing position until the halfway mark.
It was shortly after the halfway point that Pourcel crashed, handing the lead to Tomac who had just moved around Searle. Shortly after, Tomac made a mistake giving the lead to Searle who sprinted forward. Pourcel quickly caught Tomac and moved around him for 2nd. He had his sights set on Searle and soon the two competitors were side by side on the final lap. Pourcel tried to go to the outside in a corner and Searle retaliated with a block pass that sent both riders to the far outside of the track as they headed down hill. Pourcel nearly ran off the track, but saved it at the last second to squeeze by Searle and earn the win. Searle finished right behind him in 2nd to put himself in good contention for the overall. .
Moto two, was not as kind to Searle. He started around 6th place and remained close to the top five riders until his shifter got lodged and made him miss some shifts early in the race pushing him to the back of the top ten. He fixed the problem but soon after suffered a crash, falling on his injured shoulder. He remounted and tried to ride a few laps before the pain caused him to DNF as he was having trouble holding on to the bike. “I have been training really hard for this series and this is a huge disappointment. I will play it safe as to not injure my shoulder anymore and hope that I can be recovered to race in time for the next round,” remarked Searle.
Searle was credited with 31st overall for the moto. His combined moto scores of 2-31 earned him 9th overall for the day. Searle will return home for further evaluation and will make an announcement later in the week as to if he will race the Glen Helen GP this coming weekend.
Next Event: Round 2- Freestone MX – June 5, 2010
Motocross Class Overall Results –
1. Chad Reed, (1-3)
2. Mike Alessi, KTM (4-1)
3. Davi Millsaps, (3-2)
4. Brett Metcalfe, (5-4)
5. Josh Grant, (2-10)
6. Ben Townley, (6-7)
7. Ryan Sipes, (7-8)
8. Ryan Dungey, (10-6)
9. Ken DeDycker, (8-11)
10. Andrew Short, (15-5)
Motocross Lites Class Overall Results
1. Eli Tomac, (3-1)
2. Christophe Pourcel, (1-3)
3. Trey Canard, (7-2)
4. Jake Weimer, (4-8)
5. Justin Barcia, (5-7)
6. Dean Wilson, (10-4)
7. Broc Tickle, (11-5)
8. Wil Hahn, (13-6)
9. Tommy Searle, KTM (2-31)
10. Tyla Rattray, (8-16)