News 3 Jul 2017

Metcalfe delivers Kawasaki first MX Nationals podium of season

South Australian displays strengths first time out on KX450F.

Image: Marc Jones.

High-profile international Brett Metcalfe made it two-straight Motul MX Nationals podiums at Nowra on Sunday, displaying race-winning pace on debut with the MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki team.

Metcalfe was drafted into the Kawasaki organisation during the mid-season break when Russian Aleksandr Tonkov returned home, delivering the team’s first overall podium of the year with second behind runaway leader Dean Ferris.

Challenging the in-form Ferris appears to be within reach for the 33-year-old South Australian, however he will continue to refine the settings of his KX450F between now and the Shepparton round of the nationals in a fortnight.

“He’s obviously the benchmark,” Metcalfe told “Coming into the season I knew my speed would be good and that I’d be able to challenge for the win, but things just didn’t pan out. This is a new lease on the series for me, being involved with the MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki team, so there’s a lot to learn, but the speed is there.

“Definitely, we can do it, so now it’s just putting the little things together and getting a little bit more comfortable, then it’s up to me. I’ve never been in this truck before, but obviously Troy [Carroll] has been around a long time and walking in, coming in for this weekend, it was something I haven’t really had this year. It was more accustomed to what I’m used to in the States.

“I just come in, the bike’s there ready, everyone’s there and ready, so all as I focus on is racing now and I think it showed today with consistent moto results. Not as good as I want, but it was there and hats off to the team – they work hard and they are a professional outfit.”

In his first official outing aboard the 2017 Kawasaki KX450F, Metcalfe was quickest in regular qualifying, lodged the second-fastest time in Super Pole and went onto record a pair of second place finishes for the runner-up overall. He didn’t make it easy on himself, as in race one he came from as far back as 15th, while an early error in moto two was less severe and enabled him to settle into position more quickly.

For Metcalfe, the result is something he can build upon in the back-half of the season after spending limited time on the factory-supported KX450F in the lead-up to Nowra. Winning is the next target at this point.

“I think it’s something huge that we can really build on and gain momentum,” he explained. “That’s something I’ve been missing for pretty much the whole season. Literally, today is the fifth day on the bike, so to learn the bike as quick as possible, change a few things and come to the track and be competitive was really the goal for today.

“I kind of exceeded my expectations with the speed I was able to ride at and I’m happy. To ride away with 2-2 [finishes] and Nato also having a good finish – two in the top five for the MEGA Bulk Fuels Monster Energy Kawasaki – I think it’s awesome and a step in the right direction. For myself personally, I’m happy with my riding and the result. Obviously winning is the goal from here out, I’m just trying to find consistency now to bridge the gap and win.”