I know, I know...it's old news, still, I think this interview with David Vuillemin is very interesting.
From the outside looking in, the silly season move that turned MCY into a merged effort between MC and Alessi Racing looked like a potentially excellent move for all the parties involved. MCY's 2011 season was plagued by its riders' injuries, however, DV picked up right from where his predecessor left (a solid 2010 outdoor season), provided more exposure to the team and turned Kyle Chisholm into a solid top 5 contender. On the other hand, in light of their results in the 2010 and 2011 seasons, the careers of Mike and Jeff Alessi seem to have “hit the wall”. Mike used to be a championship contender in the Nationals, Jeff showed serious SX skills. Now, he "floates"* between the 7th and the 4th positions outdoor and Jeff's injury seemed to have pretty much forced him into retirement. In an interview with DMXS (don't remember which one, sorry), Roger DeCoster said that Mike should work on improving his SX skills not only because it would make him more competitive indoor, but also because the improvements in riding techniques would help him being more competitive outdoor, too. Considering DV's success as a riding coach for Gautier Paulin (who, under DV's watch, trained for SX and raced some SX rounds in 2010 doing fairly well and without injuring himself) and Chisholm, I think DV's help would have been very beneficial to Mike in improving his SX skills and in providing some structure to Jeff’s training regime. However, based on the interview with DV above, DV’s comments on the PulpMX Show and his posts on VitalMX, it seems the relationship between DV and the Alessis is far from idyllic. What in the world happened between those 2 at Suzuki in 2008???).
The race results may prove me wrong, but I think that by excluding DV from the Alessi-MotoConcepts racing program, all the parties involved are missing out on a great opportunity to develop a success story: Mike Alessi’s return to being a podium and championship contender. If they were able to put Mike and Jeff career back on track, all the parties involved would greatly benefit from it:
- Mike may gain for himself another shot with a factory team;
- Jeff could finally exploit his potential racing dirt-bike;
- MotoConcepts would gain in terms of popularity among the industry and secure more sales (everybody has a soft spot for companies that sponsor a comeback);
- DV may establish himself as a high rate (and therefore well paid) riding coach as opposed to work as a team manager (so he wouldn’t have to travel as much as team managers do, but would still earn more than a team manager by getting a cut of the bonuses earned by his riders).
* By "floates" I mean "not in contention for podium positions", I don't mean to disrespect a professional rider's efforts.