An interview with Corey Alexander: Serial winner in the US.


Munich. Eight races have taken place in the MotoAmerica Stock 1000 class so far this season; in six of them, victory has gone to BMW racer Corey Alexander from the Tytlers Cycle / RideHVMC Racing team, including the last five consecutive races. The 28-year old rider from the US state of New York started the season with victory at the opener but missed out races two and three after a crash. He fought back in impressive style, winning all the other races since. This success has catapulted Alexander back into the title fight, and with three events to go, he is leading the championship with 150 points, 33 points ahead of his closest rival. 

2022 is Alexander’s first season on the BMW M 1000 RR. In an interview, we introduce the BMW racer from the US and he shares how he got into motorcycle racing, his close relationship with motorcycles, his first season in the BMW family, Jason Pridmore, Michael Jordan Motorsports and much more. 

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An interview with Corey Alexander.

Corey Alexander © Brian J Nelson

One could say that motorcycles and racing are in your DNA. You started riding at the very young age of five – can you tell us more about how that came about?

Corey Alexander: “I got my first bike on my fifth birthday, but my family has had a dealership in New York since 1966. My grandfather started it and my dad and my uncle both raced. My uncle won the 1998 750 Supersport championship and raced in the AMA until the early 2000s. So yes, it has been in my family, it has been in my blood. My childhood was spent at school during the week, Saturdays at the dealership, and Sundays at the track.”

Do you still work in the dealership?

Alexander: “I spend less and less time there as I get more and more involved in the race team over the last three years. But I have always done something at the dealership, pretty much every day. There was a period when I was doing most of the sales alongside my dad but have done a little bit of everything. I still I do a lot of marketing stuff.”

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Corey Alexander © Brian J Nelson

Let’s talk about racing. When did you actually start racing and what series have you competed in to date?

Alexander: “I raced motocross until I was probably about ten years old, just locally in a regional amateur motocross championship here. And then Supermoto was popular in the US so I got into that a bit. That led to eventually trying out for the Red Bull Rookies Cup. They still have it in MotoGP but they had a US version here for one season. I was lucky enough to get picked for that programme having never ridden a road race bike. I just went to the try-out for fun and got selected. That was in 2008 and the Red Bull Rookies Cup was my first road race championship. I did that for one season, but I was too young to go professional after that ended. So I spent some time racing on an amateur level until I was 16. In the US you weren’t allowed to race in any of the championships because they did not have small classes. So I raced in CCS, an amateur national championship. 2011 was my first full season racing in AMA which is now MotoAmerica.”

What have been your biggest successes to date?

Alexander: “I won the championship in AMA Supersport 600 in 2013 and I had some runner-up finishes in the championship since then. But that’s probably my biggest success to date other than to have the opportunity to go racing in Europe for a couple of rounds in World Supersport. It wasn’t easy but it was fun racing on the world level for sure.”

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Corey Alexander © Brian J Nelson

Let’s talk about the current season, your first with BMW. Why did you decide to ride the BMW?

Alexander: “I didn’t race for a few years. I had to have back surgery and wasn't sure if I was going to continue racing. So, from 2016 to the end of 2019, I didn’t race at all. We then decided to come back into the Stock 1000 Championship and raced another brand in 2020 and 2021. Then at the end of last year we decided that the BMW was the strongest package on paper for the class.”

And did the BMW prove to be the strongest package so far?

Alexander: “I think so. I think in everybody’s opinion that’s kind of the consensus. Obviously with our programme and the resources we’ve had, to be competitive right out the bag is a big part of it. Anybody can buy a bike and try to go out and win races but you have to have the team, the people, the support and the resources to have success. So that’s a big part of it as well. I definitely seem to work very well with the BMW. I think it’s built a little bit more around bigger people. I am 6’4’’, which is 1.95 metres, so I am pretty tall and the BMW seems to fit my size. Regarding the characteristics of the motor and things like that it was an easy transition and for me the bike just works a bit better all round then my previous one.”

You’ve won six of the eight Stock 1000 races held this season, including five in a row. What makes you so strong and consistent?

Alexander: “Having a good package is a big part of it, having a strong bike with good electronics, the power and those kind of things enables me to show that I have been able to improve myself on and off the bike. Having the support of Tytlers Cycle Racing and alpha Racing has been influential in being able to make the transition. We didn’t have the commitment to race the BMW M 1000 RR until maybe the end of February and the first races were in the second week of April. So, we’ve only had a small amount of time before the first round of the season. We definitely wouldn’t have been able to do that without the resources and the people we have helping.” 

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Corey Alexander © Brian J Nelson

So, you feel settled in your team and in the BMW family?

Alexander: “Yes, very much so. A big part is the confidence in my ability, the confidence in the bike and the confidence in my team and what their direction is. It isn’t as easy if you show up every weekend and they push the bike off and then we go without making any changes. It is a lot of hard work and that does not happen without having smart people with a lot of experience to help me get the bike to where we need to be to be successful. And to some extent luck as well. At the last race at Brainerd we were in a position where it looked like we would end up second and take that towards the championship, and be happy with the podium. But then there was a red flag that led to a restart and our championship competitor had a technical issue on the penultimate lap. That was one of the moments where I didn’t need to do much, I just put myself in a position where my guys could help me take advantage of a little bit of the bad luck of one of our competitors. It made me realize again that it is not only just about me, it is the whole package that allows us to win.”

Obviously, the goal this season is clear – winning the Superstock 1000 title?

Alexander: “Well, I had a pretty bad crash at Virginia which meant that we did not start in two races. When you miss two races like that early in the season, your perspective changes a little. It seemed that with our deficit, the championship was not within reach anymore. We have a pretty short championship here because we don’t have two races on every weekend. Some events are only a single round, some are double rounds. So, the championship is not as long as the Superbike championship. But I came back with the intention of just winning races and by winning, showing that we could have been there fighting for the championship. And now here we are with three races left and we are in a good position to actually win the championship, which is amazing. But it’s still the same goal; I just want to go out and win races and show how well my whole team is working. If the championship comes, we all will be happy.”

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While there are not too many races in Stock 1000, your MotoAmerica weekends are still pretty busy as you are also competing in the Superbike class. Is it difficult to switch between the categories during a race weekend? And it sounds to be very busy with a lot of track action…

Alexander: “Yes, it is a lot of riding, for sure, but we ride the same identical bike in both Superbike and Stock. This allows us some time to try new things and that is probably the reason we have been able to adapt to BMW so quickly because we had this extra time to test new settings. That has definitely been beneficial. Obviously, on Sunday afternoons I am pretty tired physically and mentally, but you definitely get used to it and I am just happy to be riding and trying to enjoy it as much as I can. And if we get a good result in Superbike on our Stock bike, it's impressive I think. It says a lot about our riding as well as the capability of the bike. To have a Stock bike essentially being able to be within two seconds or in the top 10 in Superbike against factory bikes that have World Superbike specs, is pretty good.”

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Corey Alexander © Brian J Nelson

Your starting number is 23 – does this have a special meaning?

Alexander: “There are a few. My birthday is actually the 23rd of May. My uncle’s number was 5 when he raced so my number was 5 for a while. Then 23 kind of really started because of our relationship with Michael Jordan and Michael Jordan Motorsports which was a race team here in the US throughout the 2000s. My uncle helped to manage the team and my riding coach, Jason Pridmore, was a big part of the foundation of the team. They have helped me throughout my career and MJ helped me when I was younger racing in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. When I won the championship in 2013, our team was considered part of the Michael Jordan Motorsports organisation. So, the number 23 has a few different meanings for me.”

Let’s talk about the topic of riding coach – you are one yourself…

Alexander: “Yes, I do a lot of 1-to-1 instructing. As I mentioned, Jason Pridmore has been my riding coach since I was very young and he had a very well-known, large format school here in the US called the STAR School. Since then we have re-structured and have gone more towards 1-on-1 training and now do a lot with other riders and racers of all different skill levels to try to help them improve as efficiently as we can. Ultimately for me it is just trying to incentivise people to come to the track, ride in a safer way and hopefully get hooked so we can continue to grow this amazing sport.”

What other racing goals do you want to achieve?

Alexander: “For me, that would be a Superbike win.”

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