MXA MINI-VIEW: MIKE ALESSI
Mike Alessi is an established staple in both motocross and Supercross. While he currently does not hold a title, he was second overall in the 2012 AMA National season and frequently runs in the top ten. During the one break in the 2016 Supercross season, Alessi hopped over to Glen Helen to race in the MTA World Two-Stroke Championship. This interview was taken at the two-stroke race two weeks ago.
How did your weekend racing two-strokes go? I was lucky enough to come away with the 250/Open win. The competition was pretty stiff. The weather was perfect today; It’s sunny with a slight breeze and there is premix in the air. Supercross can get somewhat monotonous, so it’s fun to break things up and race two-strokes.
You are known for your great starts. What is your secret? There is no secret, but there is a big difference starting with a four-stroke versus a two-stroke. Because the power is different, you have to rev the two-stroke a lot more coming off the gate.
Mike Alessi racing in Indianapolis. Photo by Scott Mallonee.
Two-stroke or four-stroke? I personally like two-strokes better. I think that if racing went back to two-strokes there would be less injuries. Riders would be racing closer to each other and the sport would be more economical. It will probably never go back because four-strokes are profitable these days. With four-strokes, the market is there and manufacturers can charge what they want and get away with it. With a two-stroke, if you blow the engine you can drop a new piston in it and it is good to go. With a four-stroke, you pretty much have to buy a whole new motorcycle.
As an amateur did you imagine racing two-strokes as a Pro? My transition from an 85 Supermini to the big bikes was kind of interesting. I went straight up to a 450 which is a huge jump. I missed that whole transition from 125 to 250. By the time I was ready to make the jump, everyone had just switched to four-strokes. I would have liked to start my career on a 125 and then a 250, but that is how the industry went at the time.
Do you plan on racing the AMA Nationals this year? Vince (Friese) and I plan on going up to Canada for the summer and racing the Nationals up there.
Mike was on a Suzuki RM250 that he bought a few years ago in hopes of racing the two-stroke race, but his schedules always conflicted until this year.