News 29 Jun 2023

Metcalfe weighs in on MXGP importance in Australia

Confirmed interest from The Bend to host event from 2024.

Image: Foremost Media.

Longtime international Brett Metcalfe has weighed in on the importance of Australia hosting a round of MXGP, highlighting the influence it could have on the sport and careers of our domestic talent on the global stage.

South Australian icon Metcalfe, 39, has experienced success overseas in addition to his accolades at the national level and was notably a member of Team Australia in 2011 on its way to a first Motocross of Nations (MXoN) podium.

Australia last hosted a round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in 2001 at the Victorian-based Broadford complex, with Metcalfe having the opportunity to compete during that event. Upon reflection, the GO24 team owner/rider strongly believes the exposure gained from lining up in front of world teams and global audiences was the kickstart to his international career, which spanned well over a decade between Europe and the US.

“The importance of this event coming back to Australia is massive,” Metcalfe told MotoOnline. “2001 was the last time and that was almost a kickstart… Andrew [McFarlane] came out and obviously shined so strongly, Byrner [Michael Byrne] and Chad [Reed], as well, plus I also raced there in the support class on a 125.

“All four of us had pretty successful international careers, all got on the main stage and did well at that event, and it kind of helped kickstart everything for the next two decades of racing for us. That was the start of it all. To get that event coming back to Australia and just having a spotlight on our national scene for that event, I think is massive. I’m really hoping that things can go well and we can get it back in Australia.”

World-class Tailem Bend-based precinct, The Bend Motorsport Park, is shortlisted and heavily linked to host the MXGP upon its potential return. The Bend owner, Dr Sam Shahin, confirmed the venue’s interest in motocross and the event on local radio this past week and, while it’s not yet official that it will eventuate, he stated that it could be as early as 2024.

Still a current Penrite ProMX national MX1 contender and also operating his GO24 development program in a bid to inspire the younger generation to ‘Get Outdoors’, the ever-popular Metcalfe is determined to help get the MXGP event over the line as government support is pivotal to ensuring that it can indeed go ahead.

“That’s probably one of the major pieces I’m looking at, the potential that our younger riders have to jump onto the MXGP scene and get that experience, and also showcase their own talent to maybe get recognised and that opportunity to take their careers further,” Metcalfe added. “That piece alone is as important as the event coming here and watching the world’s best race – our own national riders, families, and fans get to experience the MXGP.”

The current MXGP calendar spans 19 rounds visiting more than 15 countries, with Jorge Prado (Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) and Andrea Adamo (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) leading the MXGP and MX2 championships respectively in 2023.