Mike Alessi earned his first moto win of the season in Moto 1 at Washougal, beating out points leader Ryan Dungey.
MotoConcepts’ Mike Alessi put an end to Ryan Dungey’s 2012 moto win streak, fending off the Red Bull KTM rider for over half of Moto 1 at Washougal. Alessi had been winless for two years in the class prior to his performance in M1. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer trailed Dungey by over 28 seconds, taking third.
Alessi got out front early, but Dungey started fourth and had to spend the opening minutes of the contest fighting past Jake Weimer and Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki’s Josh Grant. As Dungey was approaching Grant, the Kawasaki rider clipped a hard berm on a small double and crashed his brains out. Dungey took second and proceeded to close the gap on Alessi, who was over five seconds ahead.
Once Dungey caught the Suzuki rider, he looked everywhere he could for a line to pass, but Alessi played defense well and was able to close any openings Dungey might find. The KTM rider pushed himself and his bike to the limit, first going wide off a jump and nearly landing in the middle of the crowd and then hitting a ridge through a turn and falling completely off the bike. He quickly remounted and took just one lap to close the four-and-a-half second gap to first.
Through the final laps, Dungey continued to challenge Alessi, but to no avail. The two riders fought a lonely race out front as Weimer lagged considerably for most of the moto with an uneventful podium finish. L&MC Racing’s Andrew Short trailed a further four second back in fourth place, with Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Brayton taking a comfortable fifth. Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle came across the finish in sixth, followed by Brayton’s teammate Tommy Hahn in seventh and Grant’s teammate Kyle Chisholm in eighth.
Dungey came back in Moto 2 and took the win by a big margin, over 28 seconds ahead of Alessi at the checkers.
Dungey countered in Moto 2 with a win that looked much like those he’d taken 10 times previous this season. Alessi trailed Dungey by over 28 seconds at the checkers. Short held to third, well ahead of Tickle in fourth. Weimer finished off the moto in fifth.
Alessi and Dungey battled out front early with the KTM rider coming out on top early and never looking back. The field then stretched out, with each rider in the top-five enjoying a relatively comfortable gap between those behind and those ahead. The battle for fifth was intense though, with Weimer, Grant and Hahn trading positions a number of times before the final order, with Grant in sixth and Hahn in seventh.
“It was fun (out there),” said Dungey, who won for the fifth straight year at Washougal. “I was riding in second (behind Alessi) and I was up on him, but I had a hard time making the pass. I had a streak going and I was happy with it, but at the end of the day, winning every moto doesn’t get (the championship) done. If anything, it was a kick in motivation to go a little harder, which I did in the second moto.”
Dungey earned the overall win and remains in the points lead by 80 over Alessi. Weimer remains in third and Short holds steady in fourth. Tickle and Brayton maintained their overall positions of fifth and sixth respectively and Grant moved up to seventh ahead of the absent James Stewart of Yoshimura Suzuki.
450 podium at Washougal with Ryan Dungey (center) in first, Mike Alessi (right) in second and Andrew Short (left) in third.
2012 Washougal 450 Motocross Results:
1. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 2-1
2. Mike Alessi (Suzuki) 1-2
3. Andrew Short (Honda) 4-3
4. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 3-5
5. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki) 6-4
6. Tommy Hahn (Honda) 7-7
7. Kyle Chisholm (Kawasaki) 8-10
8. Christian Craig (Honda) 10-9
9. Weston Peick (Suzuki) 9-11
10. Josh Grant (Kawasaki) 17-6
11. Justin Brayton (Honda) 5-36
12. Vince Friese (Suzuki) 14-14
13. Ben LaMay (Yamaha) 12-16
14. Fredrik Noren (Honda) 22-8
15. Kevin Rookstool (Honda) 16-13
2012 450 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Dungey, 383
2. Mike Alessi, 303
3. Jake Weimer, 280
4. Andrew Short, 247
5. Broc Tickle, 220
6. Justin Brayton, 183
7. Josh Grant, 169
8. James Stewart, 151
9. Brett Metcalfe, 142
10. Kyle Chisholm, 137