The much-anticipated debut of Mike Alessi (Honda) fizzled out at Millville, Minnesota today, when the young rookie pulled out of both motos (more about that later). Aside from the addition of Alessi, it was business as usual in both classes today.
Ricky Carmichael (Honda) kept his perfect season alive with two convincing moto wins. Chad Reed (Yamaha) followed Carmichael home in the first moto, but crashed heavily in moto two and retired. Kevin Windham (Honda) took the runner-up spot to Carmichael in moto two, ahead of Sebastien Tortelli (Suzuki). David Vuillemin (Yamaha) had taken the third spot behind Reed in moto one.
With Carmichael first overall today, Windham, in second, and Tortelli, in third, rounded out the podium in the 250 class.
James Stewart (Kawasaki) again dominated both motos in the 125 class, with rookie Broc Hepler (Suzuki) taking second in each moto, and second overall. Matt Walker (Kawasaki) finished third in moto one, while Mike Brown (Yamaha) took third in moto two. Walker took third overall on the day.
Carmichael and Stewart each have huge points leads in their respective classes. At this pace, each of these riders could clinch their division title with two races remaining.
Back to the Alessi debut. Alessi retired early in moto one following a first lap crash. He ran moto two all the way through lap 12 before calling it quits while running in approximately 7th position. Alessi had a good start in the second moto (roughly 5th after the first corner), and appeared to have the speed to run a solid top ten to the checkered flag. It did not appear that Alessi had the speed to run in the top five in the 250 class. He was well off the pace of Carmichael, Reed (before he crashed), and Windham. He was passed twice by Sebastien Tortelli (who crashed after passing him the first time), and also passed by Ernesto Fonseca (Honda) and Joaquim Rodrigues (KTM), two riders who seem to run in the 5th through 7th positions, on average. If Millville is any indication, it looks like Alessi could certainly use some time in the 125 class, where he would probably be competitive with the other fast rookies (Hepler, Millsaps and Grant).