Red Bull/KTM Factory Team riders Mike Alessi and Andrew Short had a weekend they would like to forget at the opening round of the AMA Pro Motocross National Championship Series as both riders had a spell of bad luck.
The day started out well for the Red Bull/KTM Team when Alessi turned the fastest practice time on his KTM 450 SX-F. Not only did he have the fastest lap time, but his time was over 1 second better than the next closest competitor.
Approximately six minutes into the second timed practice session, Alessi suffered a horrendous crash. The KTM rider knocked himself out during the crash and the practice was red flagged for his safety. After some time with the medics Alessi was able to get back on his feet and reported to the Asterisk Medical Unit for further evaluation. Alessi was soon driven to a local area hospital where they evaluated his concussion. He is expected to make a full recovery and return to racing in approximately 3-4 weeks.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI felt so good this morning and was very confident in my speed and my bike. I thought today would be my day but unfortunately I suffered a crash and I am lucky I was not seriously hurt. I will rest next week and hope to be back by High Point,Ã¢Â€Â remarked Alessi.
AlessiÃ¢Â€Â™s teammate, Short, also turned in a good practice time within the top ten. He had a decent gate pick for the first moto and was able to come around the first corner inside the top ten. Former 125 National Motocross Champion Mike Brown also made an appearance at Hangtown and was sitting in 8th aboard his KTM after the first lap. After the first few laps, Short was able to make a pass on Brown and took over 8th position. Short remained in 8th place for the majority of the moto before a battle ensued with Tommy Hahn. The two riders battled for the 8th place spot for a solid lap before Hahn took over the position. Short eventually settled into 9th place where he remained through the conclusion of the first moto. Brown went on to finish an impressive 13th overall.
Short got off to a better start at the beginning of the second moto. This time he rounded the first lap in 8th position while Brown was in 9th. Short passed Kyle Chisholm for 7th on the second lap and raced in that spot for the next four laps. On lap seven he was able to get around Brett Metcalfe to secure 6th place. He spent the next lap closing the gap on the 5th place ride of Jake Weimer. It appeared as if Short was on his way to catching Weimer when bad luck struck. Short encountered a mechanical problem on the ninth lap and had to withdraw from the race.
Ã¢Â€ÂœIt was definitely disappointing to suffer a mechanical problem in the second moto that caused me to DNF. I know my team will work as hard as they can to solve the situation and we should be ready to go for my hometown race in Texas next week,Ã¢Â€Â remarked Short.
After sixteen grueling laps in the second moto, thirty-nine year-old Brown was able to hang on for 15th. His 13-15 scores earned him 15th overall for the weekend. Ã¢Â€ÂœMy goal was to finish inside the top ten so I am a little behind where I would have liked to finish. However, it was fun to return to the motocross series. I plan to attend a few more this year in order to keep my national number. Hopefully I can move closer to the top ten at the next event,Ã¢Â€Â remarked Brown.
Next Event: Freestone MX Ã¢Â€Â“ May 28, 2011