Alessi, Brown Top Dubya World Vet MX Championships

Jean Turner | November 5, 2019

The 35th Annual Dubya World Vet MX Championships saw another packed house at Glen Helen Raceway over the November 2-3 weekend. Mike Alessi, a surprise entry, captured the 30+ Pro race on Sunday with a 1-1 sweep after a battle with Mike Brown. In Saturday’s 40+ and 50+ Pro races, Brown and Kurt Nicoll cashed in. The 2019 event saw the inaugural Dubya World Vet Cup of Nations, which went to the American team ahead of the Brits.

Mike Alessi grabs the holeshot in the second 30+ Pro moto on Sunday at the Dubya World Vet MX Championship.
Mike Alessi grabs the holeshot in the second 30+ Pro moto on Sunday at the Dubya World Vet MX Championship. Photos: Jean Turner

Seven A.M. on Sunday morning is pretty late in the game to decide you want to go racing. But for some reason it seemed to work out for Mike Alessi. Despite not planning ahead, or even having ridden motocross since August, Alessi headed to Glen Helen to have a crack at his first-ever Dubya World Vet MX. The 31-year old knew he’d have his work cut out for him against the likes of Mike Brown and Ivan Tedesco, and while Brownie nearly ran him down on the last lap of the second moto, Alessi held on to the lead for a 1-1 sweep.

Mike Alessi Dubya World Vet MX Championship
Mike Alessi didn’t let a little thing like being totally unprepared stop him from going 1-1 in his first-ever World Vet MX Championship.

“I only rode two laps of the race before mine, just cruised the track just to check it out, and I went right to the starting gate and we raced,” said Alessi, who arrived after the practice sessions were completed. “The second moto, I pulled out a good lead and I was holding on by my fingertips the last two laps. It was choppy, it was square-edge, it was gnarly today! Anybody who was here to witness it, they witnessed a good race. We brought that thing down to the last lap, me and Brownie. He was riding really good, got up on me, almost made the pass on me. Luckily he blew that turn coming up to Mt. Saint Helens and had he not blown that turn, he probably would have got me on that last lap and won.”

Mike Alessi gets the holeshot. (Shocked?)

Ivan Tedesco barely missed out on the podium, collecting fourth overall in 30+ Pro.
Kris Keefer leads the first lap of Sunday morning’s first 30+ Pro moto.

Tim Tremblay of Canada fought hard in both 30+ Pro motos, rounding out the podium in third.

Alessi nearly collapsed at the finish, sitting on the ground struggling to catch his breath while Brown gave his podium interview. While he had to settle for second in the 30+ Pro overall, Brown collected his share of wins over the weekend, claiming the prestigious 40+ Pro crown with a 1-1 over Kris Keefer and Mark Tilley. Now going on 48 years old, Brown keeps on delivering, even with the new 40-year-old “kids” coming up in the ranks every year.

“I’ve been riding a lot this year and I’ve raced some fast kids this year to keep my speed up,” said Brown. “I did a Pastrana race a couple weeks ago in Pennsylvania and it was like a full national and I didn’t have fun. I had to ride 100% and I wasn’t ready for that. I did good, I won a few motos but that wasn’t fun for me. But this stuff here is. I don’t have to ride out of control and do good and have fun.”

On the final lap of the second moto, Mike Brown came this close to taking the 30+ Pro crown.
The final laps really put a strain on Alessi. But he held on, quite literally by his fingertips.

Mike Brown leads British National MX Champion Brad Anderson in Sunday’s first 30+ moto.

Even going on 48 laps around the sun, Mike Brown hasn’t lost a step. Brownie took another resounding 1-1 sweep in the 40+ Pro championship.

The 50+ Pro ranks saw the same dominant performance from Kurt Nicoll (in the absence of Doug Dubach who was unable to attend), but also saw a new high-profile racer who recently turned 50—Ty Davis. The Zip-Ty Racing owner gave it his best, and while he managed to lead a few early laps, he couldn’t match the pace of Nicoll, who handily took the win. Fellow Brit Brian Wheeler made his first appearance at Glen Helen to round out the 50+ Pro podium, edging out Jeff Matiasevich for the spot.

Kurt Nicoll bested Ty Davis for the 50+ Pro championship. Davis, who recently turned 50, took his first crack at the 50+ Pro division.
Pretty awesome to see Ty Davis back on the starting line.
Jeff “Chicken” Matiasevich, here dueling with Craig Davis (811) narrowly missed the overall podium in the 50+ Pro.
“Relax, you have a 20-second lead!”
Zip-Ty’s still got it. Just in case you didn’t know.
Ty Davis admitted he hasn’t spent a lot of time on the bike ahead of the Dubya World Vet MX Championship, but mentioned he might spend as much as a week preparing next time. Look out, Nicoll!
(L-R) Ty Davis, Kurt Nicoll and Brian Wheeler of England show off their Dubya hardware on the 50+ Pro podium.
Wheeler gives his fellow countryman a facefull of champagne.

Nicoll and Wheeler went on to represent team England in the Dubya World Vet Cup of Nations along with British Motocross Champion Brad Anderson. The trio was looking to do battle with the American “A Team” which was originally slated to consist of Josh Grant, Mike Brown and Doug Dubach, but with Grant and Dubach unable to attend, it was “Team USA 2” comprised of Jeff Loop, Kris Keefer and Craig Davis who emerged victorious.

Loop, starting on the first gate in the 30+ division, managed to take the overall win in both motos (one Saturday and one on Sunday). He admitted he was surprised once he found out who he was racing against—a number of former national and world champions.

“It was fun, I had a blast. The first moto I kind of went in blind. I had no idea who I was racing against, so I just figured I was going to win,” said Loop. “I got a second-place start and I passed the British national champ [Anderson], because I just figured I should, and I beat him. But I didn’t know who he was. I went home and I started studying up on those guys and I shouldn’t have. Because now I knew I was racing against, ex world champs and stuff, and it made me nervous. I wish I wouldn’t have known! But I went out and I beat them again; it was awesome.”

Jeff Loop helped lead the American team to the first-ever Dubya World Vet Cup of Nations victory.
Kurt Nicoll digging deep for the Queen Mother. The Brits had to settle for second in the Dubya World Vet Cup of Nations.
Canada’s Tim Tremblay was leading the second Cup of Nations moto before running off the track and sliding out.
Kris Keefer made his country proud, taking a win for Team USA.
The inaugural Dubya World Vet Cup of Nations podium involved several gallons of champagne.

A notable tradition at the Dubya Vet World MX Championship is awarding the Edison Dye Lifetime Achievement Award. The 2019 honor went to Mitch Payton. The Pro Circuit founder was honored in a midday ceremony on Sunday, which brought out a host of motocross industry who’s whos including Roger DeCoster. Payton was overwhelmed by the honor, and gave a special thanks to his Pro Circuit crew that he has worked with through the years, to whom he attributed much of his success.

Watch the tribute video to Pro Circuit’s Mitch Payton, recipient of the 2019 Edison Dye Lifetime Achievement Award at the 35th Annual Dubya Vet World MX Championship, here.

Dubya Vet World MX Championships 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.