Alessi Takes U.S.GP Pole Position

Jean Turner | May 29, 2010


SAN BERNARDINO, CA, MAY 29 – U.S.GP qualifying took place at Glen Helen today, as did the first moto of the Vet World Motocross Championship. Mike Alessi dominated the MX1 qualifying race (which was an actual 20 minutes plus two lap race – not merely timed laps) with a resounding “Not in my house” victory over fellow AMA racer Ben Townley. In the MX2 class it was Marvin Musquin – also riding on the factory KTM squad – who came out on top followed by Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Jeremy Van Horebeek and Star Yamaha’s Max Anstie.

As for the FIM Motocross World Championship regulars, factory KTM’s Max Nagl set the hot lap in the MX1 division followed by his teammate, Antonio Cairoli. Davide Guarneri followed in fifth ahead of Steve Ramon. Ryan Hughes (pictured right) certainly turned some heads with his seventh place qualifier finish.

But many agreed that there wasn’t much to gain from today’s qualifying race since it is only for gate pick. And unlike many European tracks, plenty of riders said that gate pick at this particular venue isn’t critical. For that reason, many riders could have been (and appeared to be) on cruise control and not pushing too hard. MX1 championship leader Cairoli seemed content with a top-five and had no interest in chasing down Alessi, but tomorrow might be a very different story.

The top American in the MX2 division was World MX regular Zach Osborne on the Bike-it Cosworth Yamaha who came in sixth. No other Americans finished inside the top-ten. Motoconcepts Yamaha racer Vince Friese finished 13th and Team Tedder Racing’s Dakota and Myles Tedder also qualified inside the top 20 as did Michael Leib.

Jimmy Albertson – the only American racing the full MX1 World Championship – came into Glen Helen nursing a shoulder injury, but the Honda racer was determined to race his home GP. Unfortunately, Albertson had a dismal performance today after a spectacular wreck sent him cartwheeling down one of Glen Helen’s treacherous descents. Albertson is okay and will be racing tomorrow. He didn’t suffer any new injuries in the crash, but it certainly didn’t help his sore shoulder.

The European racers seem to be taking quite well to the incredibly fast Glen Helen circuit, which is producing lap times in the two minute, 20-second range. The hot weather and gusting wind are taking a toll, however, especially when it comes to the 100+ foot step-up triple on the back side of the track.

Many of the racers like the track just fine, but others don’t like how one-lined it is and how few passing opportunities there are. Ben Townley (pictured above) was outspokenly dissatisfied with the course, saying it is “the worst he’s ever seen Glen Helen.”

Temperatures climbed into the high eighties today, and tomorrow’s forecast calls for temps in the 90s, but hopefully there will be less wind for tomorrow’s full day of racing, which will include the second moto of the Vet World Motocross Championship.

MX1 Qualifying

1. Mike Alessi (USA) (right)

2. Ben Townley (NZL)

3. Max Nagl (GER)

4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA)

5. Davide Guarneri (ITA)

6. Steve Ramon (BEL)

7. Ryan Hughes (USA)

8. Clement Desalle (BEL)

9. Xavier Boog (FRA)

10. Anthony Boissiere (FRA)

11. Gareth Swanepoel (RSA)

12. Joshua Coppins (NZL)

13. Ryan Sipes (USA)

14. Kevin Strijbos (BEL)

15. Tanel Leok (EST)

16. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA)

17. Grant Langston (RSA)

18. Ken de Dycker (BEL)

19. Nicolas Aubin (FRA)

20. Rui Goncalves (POR)

22. Ricky Dietrich (USA)

24. Justin Soule (USA)

26. Bobby Garrison (USA)

27. Dennis Stapleton (USA)

30. David Gassin (USA)

31. Kyle Phenix (USA)

32. Jimmy Albertson (USA)

33. Kyle Chisolm (USA)

Click here for full results


MX2 Qualifying

1. Marvin Musquin (FRA) (right)

2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL)

3. Max Anstie (GBR)

4. Ken Roczen (GER)

5. Gautier Paulin (FRA)

6. Zach Osborne (USA)

7. Shaun Simpson (GBR)

8. Arnaud Tonus (SUI)

9. Steven Frossard (FRA)

10. Harri Kullas (FIN)

11. Valentin Teillet (FRA)

12. Dennis Vergruggen (BEL)

13. Vince Friese (USA)

14. Jake Nocholls (GBR)

15. Jeffrey Herlings (NED)

16. Joey Rossi (USA)

17. Petr Smitka (CZE)

18. Dakota Tedder (USA)

19. Michael Leib (USA)

20. Myles Tedder (USA)

21. Jared Minor (USA)

23. Henry Huang (USA)

24. Michael Thacker (USA)

27. Travis Baker (USA)

28. James Decotis (USA)

Click here for full results

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.