Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Vince Friese will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn ACL suffered in timed qualifying at round seven of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship in Arlington on February 16.
The team said recovery time is expected to be six months, which rules Friese out for the remainder of the series.
“I’m sad for Vince because he was riding at a higher level than he has ever ridden,” said team owner Mike Genova. “Through work ethic, determination and focus Vince’s growth has been impressive to MCR, Honda and the entire race community. While Vince’s standing just outside the top ten was impressive, it was not indicative of where he could have been in the standings without weekly minor mishaps. I’ve been working with Vince on and off for ten years and couldn’t be more proud of his growth on and off the track.”
With Friese out for the year and having lost Malcolm Stewart earlier this year to a broken femur, the team has brought back a familiar face. Mike Alessi, son of team manager Tony Alessi and former MCR team member, will race select rounds for the team in supercross. Alessi is scheduled to compete in the 2019 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Championship in Canada for Honda GDR/Fox Racing, which Smartop is a sponsor. The motocross portion of the series begins June 1 in Calgary.
Racer X’s Steve Matthes is reporting that Alessi, who has not ridden supercross since 2017, will debut this weekend in Atlanta.
“In effort to maintain exposure for MCR and team sponsors, we have recruited the #800 of Mike Alessi to represent MCR at select races in the 450 class for the remainder of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross series,” said Genova. “Mike was our first and best choice as he has been preparing for the Canadian MX series aboard the Honda 450. Alessi is familiar with the MCR team and the team is familiar with him. With Mike being in top shape combined with his starting capabilities and conservative tracks, Tony and I feel Mike can finish in the mix. While we as a team are saddened and disappointed for Vince, we’re excited to watch an enthused, recharged Mike Alessi mix it up with the best riders in the world.”