Team introductions are generally a good place to meet with riders in a casual non-racing atmosphere. Catch up on the team’s latest sponsor and news updates, do a few interviews, grab some mug shots, and have a little fun. Now, having said that, the ’06 Red Bull KTM U.S. Team intro may have been one of the more interesting examples in recent memory, just for watching what transpired during the day.
A couple of the riders on the team (Josh Hansen and Mike Alessi) are rumored to not like each other all that much, to the point where letting them on the same practice track at the same time might not be a good idea because you might need to separate them later. That made it interesting to watch Donnie Hansen give one of the Alessis a pretty good bumper boost with his Red Bull kart. Of course, Donnie had a take no prisoners style throughout much of the day while on the track
Asking Mike Alessi if he wanted to do a video interview resulted in an, “Ask my dad.” Checking in with the senior Alessi, we got a, “What are the questions? Anything controversial?” That stance is somewhat understandable, given the occasional turmoil of Mike and Jeff’s pro careers to date. But putting limits on the questions that can be asked of Mike (and hovering nearby during interviews) results in bland questions, Mike squirming the whole time, and a boring result for everyone. Talking with Jeff on the other hand (without the chaperone), resulted in an interview that was much more personable, relaxed, informative, and fun. Besides, this ain’t Hollywood or Washington, D.C.
Of course, the team riders are naturally hyper-competitive, which is part of the reason that they’ve made it to where they are. But a couple of them also seemed to realize that it was a fun event, and knew when to kick the intensity down a notch in the interest of self-preservation.
There’s an interview with each of the riders, so check them out for yourself.
To get to the videos, you can click the individual link in the right column, or click the Video link on the left to get to our ever-growing collection of movies.
To view the videos, you’ll need the latest version of Quicktime, which works for both Mac and PC, is available as a free download at www.apple.com/quicktime/download.