Reed, Tomac Star At Hangtown

Kit Palmer | May 22, 2010

Mike Alessi rebounded from his fourth-place finish in the first 450cc moto to win the second moto at the Hangtown National MX in Sacramento today. But, unfortunately for him, it wasn’t quite enough to land the overall win. Instead, that went to first-moto winner, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad Reed, who finished third after a mediocre start.Reed’s 1-3 nipped Alessi’s 4-1 to nab the overall victory.Reed rounded the first lap in 10th place, while Alessi pulled a big holeshot on his 350cc KTM and quickly started to open up a commanding lead. While Alessi sailed out in front, Reed was fighting the roost and fighting for every position, his goal was to get into third, which would guarantee him the win.

On a track that was said to be hard to pass on, Reed searched out lines and started picking off riders one by one. When he finally got around GEICO Honda rider Brett Metcalfe late in the race, Reed could breathe a sigh of relief. He had no chance of catching Alessi and was too far behind Red Bull Honda’s Davi Millsaps to make a run at him before the moto ended, but he didn’t need to.

“Oh man, it feels awesome to get the win,” Reed said. “I’ve learned that you can’t put yourself in the middle of the pack like that, so I had to charge and just ride smart.”Alessi certainly ended any doubt people might have had about the smaller-displacement KTM going up against the bigger 450s, even though the bike has already won in Europe. Alessi shot out of the gate and led every lap and, at one point, built up a 15-second lead over Millsaps, who ended up third overall via 3-2 moto finishes.Metcalfe put two consistent motos together and was rewarded with fourth overall after going 5-4.Josh Grant might’ve spent all he had in the first moto and could only muster a 10th in the second moto after finishing second in the first moto. Grant, on the JGR/Toyota/Muscle Milk Yamaha, rode well early in the moto but lost his rhythm and slipped back. His 2-10 netted him fifth for the day.TLD/Honda’s Ben Townley ended up going 6-7 for sixth on the day, followed by Ryan Sipes, Ryan Dungey, Ken DeDycker and Andrew Short.Dungey, the recently crowned Supercross champ, struggled with his starts and went 10-6 on the day.In the 250cc class, history was made when a rookie won in his very first Pro race, and that was GEICO Powersport Honda’s Eli Tomac, the long-time amateur star.Tomac nearly won the first moto and he most likely would have had he not fallen late in the race. It was a “rookie mistake,” he said. He recovered to finish third.In the second moto, Tomac did not make any rookie mistakes and flat out beat everyone. He started off in third, then passed teammate Trey Canard and then holeshotter Wil Hahn to take the lead by the third lap. Once out in front, Tomac rode like a veteran and took the win with room to spareCanard ended up getting around Hahn to finish second in the moto and third overall.Second overall went to first-moto winner Christophe Pourcel who finished third in the second moto, and when all the points were tallied, he and Tomac were tied with 45 points, but since Tomac was the highest-placing finisher in the second moto, he god the nod and the overall win.Pourcel’s teammate, West Coast Supercross Lites Champion Jake Weimer ended up fourth overall after going 4-8.Justin Barcia (5-7), Dean Wilson (10-4), Broc Tickle (11-5), Wil Hahn (13-6), Tommy Searle (2-31) and Tyla Rattray (8-16) rounded out the top 10 overall. 

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.