Brett Metcalfe has been a stalwart for Team Australia over the years, but it has always been in the MX2 class while guys like Chad Reed and Michael Byrne took on the MX1 and MX3 divisions. This year, however, Metty stepped up to the MX1 class, and under his leadership, the team came within a hair of a podium finish. If not for a crash by team rider Jay Marmont trying to pass Trey Canard in the second moto, the team may have gotten its first-ever podium. Here’s what Metcalfe had to say.
Brett Metcalfe: It was exciting. It was a little extra pressure, though, being in that position. It was an honor, actually, to be in that position and kind of help other riders out. I felt like I fit that role pretty good today, so I was happy with it. Both of those guys [Jay Marmont and Dean Ferris] did good and I was happy to be kind of the captain and somewhat the anchor of the team. It was a good feeling for me and I enjoyed it.
You were fast all weekend, as a lot of people expected. Maybe not everyone, but people who were around this summer in the AMA knew. What was it like for you to face off against a lot of different competition like that?
It was cool. It was a huge challenge just to see where you shape up against [Antonio] Cairoli and the top-five GP riders against the top-five guys here. It was pretty cool. I think I faired pretty well and proved that I’m a frontrunner.
I think you guys were running in the top three right until Marmont and Trey Canard crashed or whatever happened over there. You were watching, so what happened?
Well, from this angle, I couldn’t really see. Jay went to the outside of that left-hander, Trey went inside, and then they both went for that next one, but Trey was there and I think they clipped and Jay went down hard. He didn’t get up very quick.
[Sarcasm] Trey’s really big. I can understand why that would happen...
[More sarcasm] Yeah, he’s a roadblock.
I heard the whole crowd go crazy.
It was actually pretty gnarly. They came together and Jay’s bike did I think a little cartwheel or something. He hit the ground hard.
So was that one of those heart-sinking moments?
Yeah. That was the battle for eighth. Trey had moved up past him and then obviously Trey had back-to-back motos, so that’s tough. Jay came back up and was putting the move on him so that was going to be for eighth, which would have been huge for us. That would have put us in the top three overall today, but that was racing. Trey is a fighter and he’s not going to give it up and Jay went for it, so it’s just a racing deal.
Brett Metcalfe took the reins of Team Australia, and did the country proud.
Photo: Steve Cox
So what do you think now? You’ve faced off against the best in the world. I mean, I don’t think that you get quite the respect you deserve from the press, or maybe even from teams. What does it tell you now?
I don’t know. I just have to keep working. The first moto went good for me. Ryan [Dungey] won, Cairoli was there and I felt like I could run with those guys but I made some mistakes and then dropped off at the end. So I don’t know. I’ve still got things to do, but I’m happy to be on that kind of level. It’s pretty cool to be considered a threat to win that stuff, so it’s good.
What is Australia’s best finish?
Fourth, back in the day.
So, not quite yet. You keep trying to get that podium, huh?
Not quite yet. We’ll get it. We’re going to get it one day. I want to do that for sure in my career. Next year, baby, next year.