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Monday Conversation: Brett Metcalfe

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Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe has been consistently up front all year, the only exception being when he rode with an injured shoulder for a few early rounds. These days, Metcalfe’s riding as strong as he ever has, and he hopes to parlay that into 2009 and build on his success.

Racer X: You’ve been on the box a lot this year, though it always seems to be a third-place finish. It's still kind of a big step forward in your career to be consistently up front though, isn’t it?
Brett Metcalfe: Yeah, I mean, the only time I finished second was in ’06, when I had two seconds that year. Third’s better than nothing, but it gets a little tiring. Today I got a second in the first moto, which was good. I guess if you finish third in every race, it’s not that bad.

  • Brett Metcalfe
  • Brett Metcalfe finished third at Southwick
You've been really fast for a lot of your career, but it seems something always happened. You’d hurt an arm, a shoulder, a knee, and you’d miss a lot of the season. When that happens, some people can forget how fast you are.
Yeah.

But you’re keeping it all together for this season. What does that mean to you?
That’s definitely key, to break through. You can’t be fast and then not ride the whole year. That doesn’t work in a championship, or in racing. That's the key, to be there every race, whether it’s a fifth place or whatever it is. You’ve got to be there and get points. That’s something I’m learning to do, is to pick your spots a little bit and not take so many risks. But at the same time, you can’t not take any risks. That’s the name of the sport. [In] motocross, there’s a big risk involved, so you’ve just got to find that balance that works for you.

Not to count your chickens before they hatch, but when you go into this off-season healthy, does that change how you look at the upcoming year?
I think to have a whole, solid season under your belt helps for that next year. I know when I came into last season, when I actually had all of the injuries, before that I had a few seasons under my belt and I felt like I was getting the ball rolling. But then the wheels fell off a little bit. But it’s good to have a whole year for the upcoming season, just to know that you can do it. What you’re doing is working, and you can build on a few areas and pick those few spots that you can improve on.

During the press conference, you were asked about moving up to 450s eventually. Do you even ride 450s very often?
Yeah, I love to practice on a 450. I actually raced a 450 in Australia when I was 16; actually, it was a 400 KTM back then. But yeah, I love riding the bigger bikes, it’s just waiting for the right opportunity to come along.

So the game plan probably goes something like: Try to get yourself a championship and then move up, right?
If that happens, it’ll be awesome. When you look back over the years, the guys that do win the Lites championships and then move up, they’re solid contenders off the bat and they go on to do great things. And some riders in the Lites, they don’t really get to that point, and then there are some people that have. Every rider’s different. I can’t judge myself against [Ryan] Villopoto. You’ve got to analyze yourself and know if you’re ready or if you can handle that, and you just know.

Finally, how come your dog always bites me?
Because it’s a ... I can’t say the word in an interview [laughs].
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