Langston and Metcalfe Top The Prequel

Jean Turner | May 14, 2007

Even though it was one of their only weekends off between January and September, the pro racer turnout at the 4th Annual L.A. Sleeve Prequel at Glen Helen was substantial. Racers lined up on Mother’s Day weekend to take their shot at the $20,000 purse, which Yamaha’s Grant Langston and Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe ultimately took the lion’s share of. Metcalfe rode to a big victory in the Lites with a 1-1 score over Josh Grant and Kyle Cunningham while Langston edged out Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi for the overall victory in the Motocross class.

The Glen Helen Raceway course was long, rough and hilly, becoming increasingly challenging for the riders as temperatures rose and the track grew choppy and slippery into the afternoon. It was patient riders who were rewarded with wins, as Metcalfe and Langston showed.

After a win in the first moto over Grant and Cunningham, Metcalfe had a relatively easy time in the second moto. Rookie rider Trey Cannard got off to an early lead in front of Metcalfe, but knowing he didn’t need to beat him for the overall, Metcalfe was patient. Cannard had a crash that sent him back in the pack, while Metcalfe took the lead. A bad start by Grant left him working his way through the pack, as well. Meanwhile, Metcalfe stretched his lead and wound up winning the second moto by over a minute, and taking the Lites overall win.

“Awesome! That’s two in a row, now. I can’t ask anything more,” Metcalfe (left) said. “That was just an awesome day and it’s what I wanted to do today.”

Mike Alessi and his brother, Jeff, both had strong showings in the 450 division. Mike bested Langston for the win in the first moto, where Langston was working through arm-pump — which he attributes partially to injuring his shoulder in his crash in Las Vegas. But the second moto, the two had a good battle for the lead, and the overall. After swapping the lead a few times, Langston was out front when the two-lap board came out, but Alessi was reeling him in.

“On the last two laps, I saw where he was going and I was actually reeling him back in,” Alessi said. “We went into the back section and a lapper was getting outta my way. He barely hit a big rock – he just tapped it just right – and when I came up to it, I hit it, and when I hit, the back end just totally went right out to the side and I didn’t have a chance of saving it. It just slammed me to the ground.”

With that, Langston took the win and the overall, while Alessi limped his battered bike to a second-place finish.

Antonio Balbi finished third overall with a 5-3 finish, while the younger Alessi, Jeff, finished fourth with a 4-5 ahead of Adam Chatfield, who rounded out the top-five with a 3-6.

4th Annual L.A. Sleeve Prequel

Glen Helen Raceway

Prequel Lites Pro

1. Brett Metcalfe (Kaw)

2. Josh Grant (Hon)

3. Kyle Cunningham (Yam)

4. Trey Cannard (Hon)

5. Sean Hackley (Yam)

6. Dusty Klatt (Yam)

7. Bobby Garrison (Yam)

8. Jimmy Albertson (Suz)

9. Joaquim Rodriguez (KTM)

10. Ricky Renner (Hon)

11. Zach Osborne (KTM)

12. Daniel Sani (Hon)

13. Adam Miller (KTM)

14. Tye Hames (Kaw)

15. Broc Tickle (Yam)

16. Brad Kelly (Yam)

17. Charlie Morrison (Hon)

18. Michael Willard (KTM)

19. Carlos Gonzalez (Hon)

20. Jeffrey Mann (Yam)

Prequel Motocross Pro

1. Grant Langston (Yam)

2. Mike Alessi (KTM)

3. Antonio Balbi (Hon)

4. Jeff Alesi (KTM)

5. Adam Chatfield (Hon)

6. Bobby Garrison (Yam)

7. Mike Sleeter (KTM)

8. Tim Beatty (Yam)

9. Jimmy Hazel (Hon)

10. Carter Gurnee (Hon)

11. Justin Mace (Kaw)

12. Leighton Lillie (Hon)

13. Kurt Caselli (KTM)

14. Jeff Loop (Hon)

15. Jiri Dostal (Hon)

16. Jared Boothroyd (Yam)

17. Andy Bakken (Yam)

18. Matt Vanderwater (Hon)

19. Dennis Stapleton (Hon)

20. Howie Spencer (Kaw)

Jean Turner | Contributor

A former staffer at Cycle News, Turner continues to contribute to the website and magazine as a columnist and someone we can count on to whip up a few thousand words on an off-road race when needed.