Cycle News has learned from a reliable source that Mike Alessi suffered a potentially season-ending injury while practicing in Pennsylvania earlier today (Monday). According to the source, Alessi hit a patch of grass that caused his bike to slide into a fence post, splitting his knee cap.“He will have surgery today, but any kind of surgery like that takes two months to recover from - so he is basically out for the year,” the source said. “It is extremely disappointing, especially after his performance in Texas.”
Alessi underwent an MRI this evening which revealed no ligament or tendon damage - only the damaged kneecap.UPDATE: Cycle News spoke with Alessi's father, Tony, this morning (Tuesday) and he reported that Mike just came out of an hour-and-a-half surgery in which the doctors wired his kneecap back together. According to Mr. Alessi, the doctors called the process a complete success. "The doctor said the rest of the knee was perfect," said the elder Alessi. "He will be released tomorrow to go back to California. According to the doctor, it is likely he can ride the last four nationals. I just have to make sure everyone else is on board because I don't want to do anything no one else wants to do."Since we spoke to Tony Alessi, Suzuki issued this statement from Rockstar Makita Suzuki team manager Roger DeCoster: "There was no other damage to the knee beyond the broken kneecap. The outlook is better than expected, as we thought he was out for the year. It appears now that there's a good chance he will be able to get back out there racing before the end of this season."Alessi was hot off of a dominating performance at round three of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships at Freestone Raceway in Wortham, Texas. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider led every lap in Texas, winning the first moto by a 13-second margin and the second by a whopping 27-second advantage. The win extended his lead in the series standings by six points over Chad Reed.
Just last year, Alessi suffered a devastating crash at Red Bud that kept him out of the final half of the outdoor series. Then, later in the year, while preparing for the Supercross series, Alessi suffered a broken leg.