At the Washougal National, Malcolm
Stewart and Ryan Villopoto reported
having a green laser light aimed at
their eyes while they were on the starting
line before the first moto. In a
subsequent investigation, which included
review of GoPro helmet camera footage,
still photos and eyewitness reports, it
was determined that Jeff Alessi was the
culprit. Jeff was not racing at Washougal,
but his brother Mike was.
The race officials tracked Jeff Alessi
down and found him holding the laser
light, wearing a MotoConcepts team
uniform, and possessing the credentials
of his father Tony Alessi, who is the
Moto Concepts team manager. When
confronted, Jeff Alessi stated that an
ex-girlfriend was pointing the laser and
that he was innocent.
Under AMA rules, the rider of record
is responsible for the behavior of his
team personnel. Although there is no
evidence to connect Mike Alessi to the
behavior of his brother, since his brother
was a team member, Mike’s Washougal
points were taken away and he was
fined $10,000 (and an additional
$5000 that will be suspended when the
team personnel complete a one-year
Team manager and father Tony Alessi
had his AMA credentials suspended
indefinitely, which makes it a little hard
to be a team manager if you are not
allowed in the pits.
Jeff Alessi was fined $500 and
suspended from the sport indefinitely.
The MotoConcepts team was also
put on probationary suspension pending
the payment of all fines and future
behavior of team personnel.
Ignored for many years, the
Kawasaki KX85 finally received
monumental upgrades for 2014.
Kawasaki’s goal was to challenge the
other 85cc two-strokes—notably the
KTM 85SX and Yamaha YZ85, which
had far newer advancements.
The 2014 KX85 receives an all-new
engine that boasts 20 percent more
peak power, thanks in part to a
revised power valve for more midrange
torque and top-end power. The Kayaba
suspension is updated to target racers
looking to push the limits.
From an outward appearance, the
KX85 looks strikingly new. Slimmer
radiator shrouds, a flatter seat, lower
seat height, taller handlebars and
two-position triple clamps aim at
improving ergonomics. The aesthetics
are refreshingly new, as the plastics
have a strong resemblance to the
KX250F and KX450F. Suggested
retail price is $4349.
ALL-NEW RACE-READY KAWASAKI KX85
2014 Kawasaki KX85.