Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki celebrated a podium finish at the inaugural running of the Monster Energy Cup Supercross at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday as Brett Metcalfe raced his Yoshimura-equipped Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 to third overall.
This new stand-alone Supercross race capped off the 2011 season and incorporated both Motocross and Supercross styles in the lengthy track as well as the racing format. The hybrid track was the longest Supercross track ever built, and the format included Supercross heat races and main events, but the scoring was all Motocross: three 10-lap Open Class main events combined to provide riders with one overall best score.
"This was a really exciting race," said Metcalfe. "The whole Rockstar Makita Suzuki team worked great. It was really awesome to see the bike become better and better over the course of one day and seeing the team making all these changes in one race was incredible. We had a few practice sessions, and I was feeling pretty comfortable. The track was different than what I'm used to, so it was a little challenging at first. But by race time that night, I was ready to go."
The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider started the night on a positive note by putting in an impressive ride in the first heat race. He got a great start on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450, led all the laps before making a small mistake at the end of the heat and finishing second. In the three main events, Metcalf continued to ride aggressively and focused races, finishing fourth in the first main, third in the second main and third in the final main. All of these results combined to hand Metcalf an impressive third-place finish overall.
"All through the heat race, I led every lap until the last lap," said Metcalfe. "Then I spun out and lost a position. But I felt good going into the main events. I knew to do well and get up on the podium it would be key to get good starts. I was able to get three pretty good starts and really come out of the first corner in a good position each time. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 was unreal out there; it worked awesome for me and I'm happy with third overall. Now we have the off-season to prepare for Supercross next year. We learned a lot this weekend that we can put to use in testing and come out ready next year."
Metcalfe and the Yoshimura Suzuki team will return for the start of the 2012 AMA Supercross season on Saturday, January 7, 2012, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.
Monster Energy Cup Open Class Overall Results:
1. Ryan Villopoto 2. Ryan Dungey 3. Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)4. Martin Davalos 5. Eli Tomac 6. Kyle Chisolm 7. Nick Wey 8. Jimmy Albertson 9. Jake Weimer 10. Mike Alessi