US Open - Makita Suzuki's Alessi Celebrates Top-Five Finish In Debut Suzuki Ride - Dirt Rider Magazine

Las Vegas, NV
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Oct. 12 -13, 2007
Team Makita Suzuki Racing's newly signed Mike Alessi made a more-than-impressive debut at this weekend's US Open of Supercross at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The new Makita Suzuki rider raced the brand-new 2008 fuel-injected RM-Z450 and won both of his heat races. This marks the first-ever race victories for a fuel-injected motocross bike. Furthermore, Alessi made his new Makita Suzuki team even more proud by bringing home a fifth-place finish overall in the two-night event. According to Alessi, one of his goals for the weekend had been to improve his performance from Friday night's fifth-place finish in Saturday evening's event. The 19-year-old rider did just that - picking up his first podium position on a Suzuki, thanks to a third-place finish.Mike Alessi:
"This first weekend with the Makita Suzuki team has been really good. It was definitely a learning experience, and I learned a lot about the new fuel-injected RM-Z450 - how it handles the whoop sections, its turning ability and when I can be more aggressive. I also discovered the things that we need to work on, so it was a good weekend for us. My overall performance was pretty good, and my heat races were awesome. In the main events, I wasn't expecting to go out there and try to win or light the world on fire. I just wanted to set a good pace and Roger (Team Manager DeCoster) told me that wherever I finished was where I finished. Of course, I wanted to win, but realistically, I didn't want to ride over my head and crash in the first race. The new Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 is awesome... though we're still in the development stages. Up until now I'd only had four days on the bike, so I'm really looking forward to the off-season where I'll have the chance to do a lot of testing before Anaheim 1 and the 2008 Supercross season. It's just a matter of getting time on the bike and getting comfortable on the RM-Z. The Makita Suzuki team has been great, they're so professional and work well together. It's a good atmosphere for me and it makes a difference to have people behind me like that, people who want to win as bad as I do. It's really nice to have a great team - Roger has so much knowledge and it's great to listen to him and what he has to say. My mechanic, Mike Gosselaar, does an awesome job and puts in 110 percent. He's a great guy and works hard. This was my first race on a whole new bike, and fifth place isn't too bad. Plus, we had some great heat races - I really couldn't ask for more."Roger DeCoster:
"In the US Open, things went more smoothly than we anticipated. We wanted Mike to be conservative and his winning both heat races was better than we expected and it shows that the new Makita Suzuki RM-Z450's potential is really good. Overall, we achieved our goal to put two race days together without mishaps and to learn what we need to focus on with the new fuel-injected RM-Z. We also learned what Mike needs to work on before the first Anaheim Supercross in January. We realize that we are on a learning curve as we figure out what is best for Mike in regards to bike set-up."Mike Alessi, Team Makita Suzuki Racing RM-Z450, #800
5th Place - Friday night
3rd Place - Saturday night
5th Place - US Open OverallUS Open of Supercross Top 10 Finishers:
1. Grant Langston, Yamaha
2. Chad Reed, Yamaha
3. Josh Demuth, Honda
4. Jake Weimer, Honda
5. Mike Alessi, Team Makita Suzuki Racing
6. Andrew Short, Honda
7. Dan Reardon, Honda
8. Justin Brayton, KTM
9. Timmy Ferry, Kawasaki
10. Michael Byrne, Rockstar Suzuki