Title contender samples new engine and chassis settings.
Brett Metcalfe has described the last two weeks following Appin’s Pirelli MX Nationals opener as ‘intense’, enduring a rigorous testing schedule after a back injury sidelined him for much of the pre-season.
The Penrite Honda Racing contender suffered multiple vertebrae fractures six weeks out from the opening round, cancelling crucial testing and development that was scheduled in that period.
The brutal and mud-filled conditions at Appin ultimately played into Metcalfe’s favour, as the format was reduced to one moto, where the South Australian salvaged an impressive fourth placing. This weekend Wonthaggi will play host to round two in Victoria.
“Following our fourth place finish at round one, we wanted to continue testing to prepare for the vastly different track conditions of Wonthaggi,” Metcalfe commented. “Everyone at this level customises their bikes to suit their respective styles and riding technique as well as looking for the optimum set-up according to the terrain.
“We tested on all terrains – it’s been an intense two weeks. KYB sent some new suspension, we did some chassis testing with Krooztune, and motor development with XPR and PTR – we achieved some great results. I am feeling more confident going into this weekend.”
In 2018, Metcalfe was third at Wonthaggi when his bike stopped in the closing turns of Saturday’s opening encounter, before he attempted to push his factory-backed CRF450R across the line – collapsing to the ground directly afterwards. He was initially credited 11th, then removed from the results, before being reinstated.