Yoshimura Suzuki's Brett Metcalfe overcame adversity to claim a top-10 finish at the weekend's seventh-round AMA/ World Supercross Championship race at Arlington Stadium in Texas after crashing heavily in his heat race.
The tough Aussie put it behind him and raced his RM-Z450 Suzuki to eighth place in the 20-lap Main Event and currently holds seventh in the series standings after seven of the 17-round series that concludes in Las Vegas on May 5th.
Going into the weekend, the Yoshimura Suzuki squad was more than ready to race. Metcalfe concentrated on his starts during the previous week and he was feeling good about his chances on the tight, technical Texas track, but unfortunately a crash during the afternoon qualifying practice set him back a little. Despite this, he rallied-on and finished an impressive fourth in his eight-lap heat race.
"I was feeling pretty good coming into Dallas," said Metcalfe. "We had some positive practice sessions, but then I crashed in practice and that kind of shook me up. I'm still a little bit sore from that, but we got through practice and then qualifying went well. In the heat race, I got a really good start - that's something I've been working on - and the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 has been gaining well. In the heat race, I ended up fourth and I was happy with that, because I had a good ride going."
Looking back at the start of the 20-lap Main, Metcalfe regretted his gate pick: He came off the line and went sideways, winding up at near-the-back of the pack. He tried to pick his way through the tight and twisty field, launched over the triple-jump only to narrowly-miss landing on another rider. Although contact was made, both riders resumed racing, but for Metcalfe, the contact resulted in a bent shift lever that was stuck in second gear. Regardless, he was still able to manage an eighth-placed finish.
"That first lap was just really, really crazy," said Metcalfe. "The track's tight and there were bikes jamming-up everywhere. I hit the triple and I nearly landed on somebody and it really scared me. Then, I realised that my shifter had 'gotten bent so I was stuck in second gear. Luckily, this was the kind of track where you could get away with using one gear for the whole lap, so it wasn't so bad for me. After that, I backed it down because I just wanted to finish the race. That was really it for me for the night. I'm just happy I got through it."
Always looking forward, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider is already focusing on next weekend's race in Georgia.
Said Metcalfe: "I think everyone loves to go to Atlanta because the dirt's really good and the track's always fun. I just want to have a solid week of practice, get some rest and get ready for Atlanta."
Supercross Class Results: 1 Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki), 2 Ryan Dungey (KTM), 3 Jake Weimer (Kawasaki), 4 Mike Alessi (Suzuki), 5 Josh Hansen (Kawasaki), 6 James Stewart (Yamaha), 7 Kevin Windham (Honda), 8 Brett Metcalfe (Yoshimura Suzuki), 9 Justin Brayton (Honda), 10 Kyle Chisholm (Honda).