Irvine, Calif. (January 27, 2008) – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe earned his second podium in three races finishing third at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Early in the evening Metcalfe won his first heat race of the season. He was joined on the podium by Motosport Xtreme Kawasaki rider Tommy Hahn, who turned in his best ride of the season finishing second after claiming the holeshot in the main event. Metcalfe’s teammate Austin Stroupe had an eventful night of racing as he made up nine spots in his heat race to finish second. In the main event he took the early lead, but went off track in the slippery conditions. Stroupe recovered and went on to the finish fifth, marking his third top five in four events.
In the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM Championship main event, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Timmy Ferry nailed the holeshot and grabbed a big lead coming out of the first turn. Ferry rode steadily in fifth place until he had a hard crash, sending his bike into the other lane. He quickly got up and continued riding to finish tenth. Ferry now sits third in the championship standings.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Under the Tent
Motosport Xtreme Kawasaki’s Hahn had a good night starting with his heat race where he finished third. In the main he sprinted out to the holeshot and ran near the front, passing Metcalfe on the last lap to finish second and earn his first podium of the year.
“We were running well early in the season,” said Hahn. “I’m happy to be on the podium. It was tough out there but I just stayed on it and kept my head in it all race. We had a good heat race and I’m happy to get a good result.”
Metcalfe got out of the starting gate well and was running second on the third lap when he went down in the sloppy conditions while trying to pass for the lead. The Australian quickly recovered and rode back into contention. As the shortened race came to a close, Metcalfe was once again in the runner-up spot but he was passed on the last lap pushing him to a third place finish, his second podium in the last three races.
“I got a good start in the main,” said Metcalfe. “It was difficult and I was making my way to the front. I was aggressive and tried to take the lead in a turn and went down. I got up and rode back to the front.”
For Stroupe the main event was definitely a show as the 17-year-old rider battled the tricky conditions throughout the race. After getting a clean start and taking the early lead, he went off the track but kept his Kawasaki KX™250F upright and rejoined the field. As the conditions worsened Stroupe continued to have a yo-yo type race of moving up and falling back. At the end he was on the upswing again, finishing fifth.
“I had a really good start and was riding well,” said Stroupe. “But I went off the track on the first lap. I got back on and was passing for second when I went off again. It was difficult out there, the track was really bad. Finishing fifth was good but we should have been much better. Hopefully it will be dry next week and we can continue to run up front.”
As heavy rains moved in the supercross main event was slated to start and no one got out of the gate better than Ferry. After the first corner, Ferry and his Kawasaki KX™450F were clear of the entire field. With the rain coming down and the track quickly deteriorating, Ferry rode cautiously sliding back to the fifth position. Midway through the race he saw an opportunity to move up a spot but a spectacular crash in the rhythm section sent his bike across the other lane. Ferry quickly got back on and rode to a hard-earned tenth-place finish.
“I got the holeshot, it was my best start by far” said Ferry. “It feels good to be out front all alone, especially in a mud race but I guess I rode a little too conservative after the start. I was getting more aggressive as the laps went on and I think I just cross rutted and hit a tuff block on my crash. I was happy my bike started right away, that usually doesn’t happen in a mud race.”
Down and Dirty
With torrential rains falling all week in San Francisco, the track at AT&T Park was muddy all the way around. To help in the sloppy conditions, Ferry’s mechanic Dana Wiggins along with the Monster Energy Kawasaki team added grip tape to the bikes frame and plastics. They also changed to a modified seat cover that provides extra grip as well. To help keep the engine cool, the team went to bigger radiators and also lined the engine and radiators with foam to keep the mud from sticking. The preparation paid off as Ferry completed practice, the heat race and the main event with no mechanical problems.
Practice for the San Francisco event was cut short to accommodate for the conditions. The riders were given only 10 minutes instead of the regular 30 minutes of practice. In the AMA Supercross Lites class Metcalfe and Stroupe both showed speed as Metcalfe finished third quickest and Stroupe fifth. After a few orientation laps both riders were able to jump both triples and found their way through some treacherous mud areas. In the AMA Supercross class, Ferry posted the fourth fastest lap at the end of the session.
After receiving more than two-and-half inches of rain on Friday, the layout at AT&T Park was very muddy once the tarps were removed for practice. The crews from Dirt Wurx (track builders) and Live Nation did their best to counteract the torrential rains, keeping the track covered until just before the delayed practice started at 4:30 p.m. Though the track was anything but pristine, their efforts paid off.
“It’s not that bad out there,” said Metcalfe following the track walk. “There’s going to be a lot of ruts and it will be slippery, but we should be able to put on a good show.”