Mike Alessi Races to First Career 450 Class Victory at Hangtown Christophe Pourcel Closes in on Dungey with 250 Overall Win SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 30, 2009) - Under beautiful skies and a packed Prairie City SVRA, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Mike...
Mike Alessi Races to First Career 450 Class Victory at Hangtown
Christophe Pourcel Closes in on Dungey with 250 Overall Win
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 30, 2009) - Under beautiful skies and a packed Prairie City SVRA, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Mike Alessi, of Victorville, Calif., captured his first career victory in the premier 450 Class at 41st Annual Hangtown Motocross ClassicTM, round two of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel, of France, grabbed his first American Motocross victory with a win in the 250 Class.
Alessi has been a perennial front-runner since joining the 450 class in 2007. On Saturday, he was able to set the tone with an impressive win in the first moto despite an early fall. In moto two, he chased longtime rival Josh Grant, of Riverside, Calif., throughout the moto. The two engaged in a bar-to-bar battle, exchanging the lead on several occasions before Alessi settled into the runner-up position to secure the overall victory. However, the AMA penalized Grant one position for not adhering to a hazard flag during the latter stages of the moto, giving Alessi a 1-1 moto finish.
"I'm not even really tired," boasted Alessi. "I didn't even break a sweat in both motos. It was good to come in this weekend, get the holeshot and grab a victory. I knew I had the overall and (Josh) was being aggressive so I felt it wasn't worth it to possibly lose more points than I could gain. This has been a long time coming."
Honda Red Bull Racing's Ivan Tedesco, of Tallahassee, Fla., secured second place overall while Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Chad Reed, of Australia, assumed third overall. With the penalty, Grant dropped from third to fifth overall.
Pourcel stayed steady throughout the day, biding his time and chasing down GEICO Powersports Honda's Justin Barcia, of Ochlocknee, Ga., to win the first moto. In moto two, Pourcel settled into second behind Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., to ensure himself of the overall victory.
"(Today) was much better than Glen Helen for sure," explained Pourcel. "The track got some good lanes and was a lot of fun to ride. I'm happy to have the chance to race on it. Barcia was awesome at the beginning of the moto and it surprised me so I just let him go and waited for him to get tired. I think it was the right thing to do. I didn't want to make a mistake and risk losing this championship so early in the season."
GEICO Powersports Honda's Trey Canard, of Shawnee, Okla., captured his best career finish with a runner-up finish while Dungey took home third.
A total of seven riders were penalized one position in the second moto for not adhering to a hazard flag, including Pourcel, who as a result went from a tie atop the standings with Dungey to a two-point deficit.
In the WMX Class, Honda Red Bull Racing's Ashley Fiolek, of St. Augustine, Fla., captured her second overall victory of 2009 with a 1-2 moto finish. Her closest competitor Jessica Patterson, of Tallahassee, Fla., made a statement in moto two when she passed Fiolek early and took a convincing victory, placing her second overall (3-1). Vicki Golden, of El Cajon, Calif., finished third (2-3) for her first career podium.
"I got a good start (in moto two) and J.P. was sticking with me," said Fiolek. "She also got a good start and got by me so I settled into second because I knew I had the overall. The track was definitely rough today, but not as rough as Glen Helen. They smoothed out some portions of the track today."
Round three of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship takes place next Saturday, June 6 from Wortham, Texas for the Flagstar Bank Motocross National. Coverage of next weekend's race can be seen live on SPEED, Saturday, June 6 at 9 p.m. ET.