MIKE ALESSI SAYS HE WILL BE AT LAKEWOOD TO RACE:
“WE HAVE TO GIVE IT OUR BEST EFFORT,” SAYS TONY
According to an interview in the San Bernardino Sun (with J.P. Hoornstra):
ÿÿÿ Anyone who has seen a motocross event at Glen Helen Raceway with the riders careening up and down hills at 40 miles per hour knows its participants are crazy.
ÿÿÿ The comeback Mike Alessi is attempting off the track is even crazier.
ÿÿÿ The 21-year-old from Victorville said Wednesday he hopes to race a week from Saturday in Lakewood, Colorado, less than three weeks after breaking his kneecap.
ÿÿÿ “It’s a crazy sport that we’re in,” Alessi said. “At any time, any point, any moment, anything can happen. It’s never over ’til it’s over.”
ÿÿÿ That’s not what anyone was saying on June 8, after Alessi crashed into a fence while practicing for a race in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania. A typical recovery would take six months and cost Alessi the rest of the season after he had taken over first place through three races.
ÿÿÿ But after undergoing successful surgery the next day to insert screws in the bone, Alessi was told he could be back on a bike in as little as six weeks. That time frame still would have cost him the next three races and almost certainly his elusive first championship.
ÿÿÿ So Alessi began rehabilitating in earnest and mounted a stationary bicycle within 24 hours of surgery.
ÿÿÿ Chad Reed’s victory at High Point Raceway left Alessi in second place, 19 points behind Reed and five points ahead of third-place Andrew Short.
ÿÿÿ Alessi, doing the math, figured he couldn’t afford to miss another race. “If we’re going to have any shot at the championship, it’s not an option,” said his father, Tony. “We have to give it our best effort.”
ÿÿÿ They’re back in Victorville, as the series does not race this weekend. Alessi said he is not using crutches or even a knee brace and prefers to literally “walk off” the injury. “I need to walk on it to be able to do things on my own,” he said. “I’m going through a lot of therapy to get the swelling down, get more mobility and the stability to at least get on a motorcycle.”
ÿÿÿ ÿÿÿ It may take a miracle for Alessi to return so soon, but it took an equally uncommon twist of fate for him to slide down a wet slope and into a fence, left knee first. Ryan Villopoto, the series points leader at the time, injured the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee preparing for this season’s second race. A knee injury also knocked out James Stewart late in the 2007 season when he was in first place.
ÿÿÿ Can anyone say curse?
ÿÿÿ “It is kind of weird,” Alessi said, “but we don’t look at it like that.”
ÿÿÿ (The San Bernardino Sun is at www.sbsun.com).