MotoOnline.com.au gets the scoop on the LA Supercross from the South Australian.
South Australian Brett Metcalfe has been based in the U.S. since 2003 and has ridden for a variety of teams in the Lites class with a string of consistent results.
For season 2011, Metty has stepped up to the 450 class in Supercross with his brand new Rockstar Makita Suzuki team alongside defending champion Ryan Dungey.
The first three rounds have seen Metcalfe, based in California, finish eighth to place himself sixth in the standings directly behind countryman and dual champion Chad Reed.
Last Saturday night saw Metcalfe lead the first ever 450 class lap of a main event at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, also marking the first lap that he’s ever lead in the Supercross main game.
MotoOnline.com.au tracked Metty down in the Suzuki pit area straight after the race to get his thoughts on LA and his rookie season to date.
First of all Metty, I guess it’s pretty cool for you to lead the first ever lap of a main event inside Dodgers Stadium…
I actually didn’t realise that, but yeah, that’s pretty cool to lead that first lap [laughs]. It was good though, good to get the holeshot and also to lead my own first lap of 450 Supercross – it was exciting.
I tried to put my head down and get going, but I ended up crashing the next lap and it didn’t work out. But you know, I still finished eighth and that’s pretty good for the points so I’m happy.
You had a lot of pressure on you with the top guys right there before you crashed, so after that was it a case of remounting and refocusing for the remainder of the race?
Yeah, that was it. I just had to refocus because the track was slippery and it could catch you off guard. It already caught me out once, so I didn’t want to go down again.
I think I made a couple of passes after that, got up to seventh and then that was really the end of the race for me.
Chad [Reed] got me at the end, so obviously he was running a little better pace the whole race because he came from a way back. It would have been nice to hold onto that spot, but we still have to keep working.
So as far as main events go, that’s your third eighth place in a row from memory, right?
Yeah! My third eighth in a row [laughs].
You seem to be stuck on that number for now! But I guess this week you were eighth even though you went down at one point…
Well I’d had a couple of races where I came from further back to eighth, and then tonight I went from first to eighth – hopefully we break that streak soon [laughs].
When we do break it, we need to go upwards, that’s for sure.
Even though you’re a rookie on the 450 in Supercross, you’re the current number two guy behind Dungey outdoors. How much do you think doing that season in the nationals helped you prepare for the stadiums on the 450?
I think a lot, it really helped a lot for sure. That’s what I wanted to do since Supercross is more of a challenge for me and I wanted to have that experience on the 450 before I came into Supercross.
Doing last year’s outdoor series worked out really good. Obviously we’ve changed teams to Rockstar Makita Suzuki and have a new bike to learn, so it just takes a little time to work out the bugs and find a setting that you need.
Tonight was better and we’ll get it better again. Last year helped a lot, for sure.
Like you said, you’re with Suzuki this year alongside Dungey on the defending champion team, so do you feel much pressure as a rookie or are you just settling in and doing the best that you can right now?
I’m starting to settle in, I mean they haven’t put any pressure on me at all and everyone has been totally cool and relaxed. But you know, it is the defending championship-winning team so you expect of yourself to be the best you can.
When you don’t do that you get disappointed, and I felt like the first two rounds weren’t the greatest but we had to work on things. Right now I’m feeling pretty comfortable and that I’m fitting in good.
Oakland is coming up this next weekend, so what homework do you go and do in between rounds considering the short gap from race to race?
I still have to get more consistent, better starts. The heat race was bad, but obviously the main was good. I need to be more consistent to get myself up front from the start.
I have to work on corner speed again, I feel like the corners aren’t working out the way they should be for me – we need a little bit of rear-end traction – so I need to work on the corners a little more.
We’re working our way through right now and I believe the race information is the best that you get. During the week we have to take what we learnt tonight and keep improving.
Alright, well cool man. It was cool to see you lead the lap and we look forward to watching your progress.
Thanks a lot, Al. Appreciate it.