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5 Minutes With... Brett Metcalfe

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GEICO Powersports Honda’s Brett Metcalfe did the unthinkable in the off-season – he voluntarily left the Pro Circuit squad to join another Lites team. It sounded crazy, because Pro Circuit wanted to keep him, but he felt like a change was in order. Last Saturday night in Houston, he made his Honda debut, and he looked good on his way to a come-from-behind second-place finish. It looks like the new mount agrees with him. We talked to Metcalfe after the race last Saturday night.

  • Brett Metcalfe (center) talks with team manager JC Waterhouse (right) during the Houston track walk.
Racer X: You got a reasonable start, obviously, but it seemed like while Christophe Pourcel was out front running away with it, you were busy chasing Nico Izzi around for a long time. Do you think that cost you a bit?
Brett Metcalfe: Not really. I mean, it did a little bit, but it wasn’t the main factor. I think the main factor was that Pourcel pulled the holeshot and was leading from start to finish, and I think I came from fifth. I think I moved into third on the first lap, and then Nico was running a good pace, and I just kind of went along with him. I couldn’t do much with him at that point. He was riding really strong. I don’t know how many laps deep into it I started to really improve on myself and get a good rhythm going and started clicking the laps away a little faster, then I moved up and made the pass on him. I started putting some pressure on him, and then I think he bobbled in a turn and couldn’t jump the triple, so that was an easy pass for me. I flew by and that was that. Then I could see Christophe up front and I was kind of keeping an eye on him the whole race and just making sure he wasn’t getting too far in front.

It looked like you were gaining on him...
When I got by Nico, I put some good laps together and I could see I was catching him, and then we both came into lappers. I think maybe the first time he got the worst end of the stick, and then I got my share on the step-on/step-off and couldn’t do it, and it cost me a lot of time there. So, overall, I think I had good speed tonight, and I was happy with that, and I was able to close up and second was great. He came away with the win, and that’s that.

Coming from the Pro Circuit team last year, this is your first race with the GEICO Powersports Honda team. Everyone seems to consider the PC team to be the pinnacle, and you’ve raced there and here, so what do you think of the bike and the team and everything else in comparison?
It’s great here. You’re comparing apples and pears – they’re both awesome teams. They’re both very strong teams with good credentials to their names, it just depends on what suits you and your style better. The way we started here today, I’m just really, really proud, and I don’t think I even once felt as comfortable on a supercross track last year as I did tonight. That’s awesome for me. It’s a great feeling.

So you’ve got a few weeks off now. What are you going to do? You came out here and got second, and now you’ve got to sit around.
Yeah, we’ve got three weeks to think about it, and I think we’ve got a little plan with the team to make a few changes. It’s really good, but it was my first race with the Honda, so we learned a little bit tonight and today in practice, and I think we can get the bike a little better – not much, because it was awesome tonight – and I think I can improve and just keep getting more bike time. I don’t really have that much under my belt, so we can get better there, and I think we can get a little more speed.

How is your ankle? You injured it pretty badly in the off-season there...
It’s swollen! (Laughs)

Well, everyone was wondering about it, but it didn’t seem to affect you out on the track...
No, it didn’t bother me one bit today until I took the tape off tonight. Actually, it was a little sore, but it’s fine. It’s not even a possibility of being any sort of excuse at all. It was awesome. I’ve been rehabilitating that really good, and everything’s good right now, so we’ll just get some more bike time, improve, and hopefully that’ll give me a little extra.

Aussies finished second in both classes.
(Laughs) Yeah, I saw that. I think we need to get together or do a little Aussie chant and try and get me and Reedy on top or something. He rode great, James rode great again, and I think the first turn took a couple guys out of the race tonight. I think it was obvious for everybody, and I was just fortunate to get through there clean. That was the first part of my goal tonight, which was to get through those turns in a good position.

Talk about that first-turn chicane. It seemed like it was almost designed to cause pileups, didn’t it?
I knew as soon as I looked at it this morning that it was going to just be carnage, and possibly dangerous, but from what I heard, the laptimes were going to be so short that they had to do something there, so I understand that, because otherwise it might have been just like 45-second laptimes, which would’ve been way too short. Unfortunately, that was what they came up with, and it wasn’t the best for racing.

This is now your fourth team. You haven’t ridden a Suzuki yet in the States, so when are you planning to find a Suzuki team to ride for?
No, this is it. (Laughs) It’s not a plan, and it’s not what I set out to do, but it just happened that way. This year, moving here to this team, at least on paper, wasn’t really the best move for me, but I knew inside myself that it was what I wanted to do, and it meant changing to another brand, which wasn’t something that I wanted to do, but the way it’s unfolding here tonight, and the way it’s working out for me, is worth it. So, hopefully this is my last change. I think I’ve found something cool here with these guys, and hopefully we’ll stay here for more than a couple of years (laughs).

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