An Afternoon With the Alessi Brothers

After exchanging emails, instant messages and phone calls with Jeff Alessi, we setup a day at the KTM test track to get some video and photos of Mike and Jeff in action. To see the video, click the link on right side of this screen.

Here’s a quick update on what Mike and Jeff have planned for 2007…

Mike Alessi’s young pro career hasn’t been without some controversy, but the California-native has shown that he has the speed and determination to win races. Mike ran a consistent outdoors season, earning him second place overall in the AMA Motocross Championship standings. In the first of our Alessi interviews we asked Mike about his plans to move up to the 450, his goals for the Supercross season, and the benefit of having his brother back on the track.

Mike, on your website your schedule lists both the east and west coast rounds, and we recall you saying at Glen Helen that you were planning to move up to the 450. Will you be running the SX or Lites class in supercross this season?

I will be running East Coast Lites for Supercross, then moving up to the 450 MX class outdoors. May 19th, 2007—my birthday—will be my 450 debut.

It is still pretty early in your pro career, do you feel faster and more comfortable on the big bike?

I like the power of a 450, and I think I ride the big bike faster and smoother.

You’ve mentioned before that you feel kind of alone on the track, and on DMXS Radio a few weeks back Jeff talked about how he was looking forward to getting healthy so he could be out there with you. Do you still have that same feeling, of being somewhat of a lone-man out there?

No. My brother Jeff is a bad dude! He will be riding both Lites East and 450 Outdoors with me. We are like lightning and thunder!

[BRACKET “Laughs”] Obviously you and Villopoto had one heck of a battle in the outdoors. What did you learn from that, and how do you think it will help you in Supercross?

Well, I will be riding with a sharper edge this season. I learned that consistency is good, but doesn’t always win titles.

With that said, what are you hoping to achieve in the 2007 Supercross season?

To give the fans some great racing, to win races, and to keep a sharp eye on the championship!

Watching the Alessi brothers dueling with each other on the practice track, Jeff showed that his speed is definitely coming back, and as you’ll read below, he’s not timid about calling thins the way he sees it.

Jeff, for those that may have missed it, tell us about your injury, how it happened, and how severe it was.

Well, it happened in January about a month before the first east coast Supercross round. I was on my last lap of practice and I was pushing it, then on the lip of a triple in a rhythm section I spun and had to jump off. I ended up breaking my heal on the left foot and the navicular on the right. The problem was I didn’t have it fixed right and ended up ruining the left subtalar joint. That left me with control over my calf muscle, giving me basically no strength in my left foot. The good news is it’s better now; everything’s fixed. If I didn’t get it fixed, I wouldn’t ever have gotten on a bike again!

We saw your posts on Mototalk about getting your first supercross ride in since your injury, how’s your recovery coming along?

Very good, a lot better then expected. I practiced at the Elsinore supercross track the first day, and had it kinda rough. But the second day at Competitive Edge, I really improved and started getting my speed back. It’s going to be a long road, but I will get there. I can’t wait till round one of my coast, I’m really excited.

What has been the most frustrating thing about your injury/recovery?

I was very scared that I wouldn’t be able to ride again, and if I did I wouldn’t know how. I was terrified to the point where I didn’t know what was going to happen, and I’ll tell you, it was the worst time of my life cause things came and went. I really found out who loved me for me, and who was there because of my name. Like my girlfriend Britt, she really was one person who stuck by my side through everything. The Lawber family who helped me get healthy, my family, and agent; those were really the only people who stayed by my side. No one else did, and that was very frustrating to see people give up because I was hurt. I guess all those people who gave up on me will be kicking themselves when they see the champion and hard worker I am when I’m racing this next year!

Speaking of next year, Mike says you will both be racing east coast?

As of now east coast is the word, but in all honesty I think I would be better off as a west rider. I want the challenge. I don’t want to be like all the other guys that are running away from the west just because [BRACKET “Ryan”] Villo[BRACKET “poto”] and [BRACKET “Josh”] Grant are there. I would like to race with the best, and I know the best are on the west. That’s where I want to be.