Last week at the Anaheim I Supercross, Brett Metcalfe, riding a 450 for the first time in Supercross, made his debut on the factory-backed Rockstar/Makita Supercross team alongside teammate Ryan Dungey. While all of the attention was being focused on James Stewart and his return, Chad Reed and his new Honda, and Dungey and his title defense, Metcalfe quietly went about his business and finished a respectable eighth in what is considered the most stacked Supercross field in years.A week later, Metcalfe again went quietly about his business at the Phoenix Supercros and, again, placed eighth. And, once again, that’s not bad considering the depth of talent in the Supercross (450cc) class. We caught up with the Aussie following the Phoenix Supercross and talked to him a bit about the first two round.
First of all, what are your thoughts on your just-completed Phoenix race?I think it was a little bit better than last weekend. I felt better on the bike, which is important, so it was a good weekend. We want to make our moves slowly and in the right direction.Talk us through tonight’s race.My heat race finish wasn’t that good, so I had a bad gate pick, so I was to the right on gate one. I got a great jump, but that gate was just too tight for the first corner, so I just hugged it around tight. I came out around midpack and just tried to get through the first lap… that track was a mess, it was tough.I finally got rolling and started picking a couple of guys off, and I found myself just behind [Ivan] Tedesco. I was trying to figure out where I could pass him, and I had something set up and then all of a sudden he made a mistake and crashed. I had nowhere to go and I ran into the back of him and I went down too.I got going again but I lost a few spots, but I was able to make a few moves and get up into eighth.You’re on a new team, a new bike and you are riding the 450 class in Supercross for the first time. How is all that going for you?Yeah, it’s all new. The 450 is so much different in Supercross, but the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team is making it easier for me. It’s a deep field out there and it’s a tough challenge. Riding a 450 in Supercross is taking a bit of an adjustment for me, but I feel good and things are coming around. I’m just taking my time, trying not to make mistakes. I’m just working with the team to make me more comfortable on the bike. I think that’s been the biggest thing these first two rounds; we’ve made some progress. But it’s a new team, a new bike and it’s always a bit of an unknown, but now we’re getting rolling and each round we’re getting better and better.
Are you confident you can get to the level you were at during the outdoor series, where you were getting on the podiums consistently?I am, I am. It may take some time, but I have a plan for the series. Seventeen races is a lot and we’re at race number two, and I’m happy about where I’m at now. I want to be up on the podium, but it’s a tough field and to be up there you have to have everything set up perfectly. Right now we are working through a few things that are different for me and I’m adjusting, so it is just going to take a little more time, but I’m confident we will get there.
Do you feel pressured at all to get up there quickly?No, the most pressure I feel right now is from myself, which is stupid. The team has been unreal. They have been more that good to me and Mike Webb has been great.What do you think of your new team manager Mike Webb?Mike is great. He’s a guy who was a little bit of an unknown to this crowd, so once you start to talk to him, you realize how much he’s been around the sport and even Supercross. He’s helped me a ton already, just saying little things, whether it’s on the mental side or if it’s the physical, motorcycle side. He’s been great for me and we’ve made great progress.