Team Yoshimura Suzuki Racing's Brett Metcalfe had plenty to celebrate after round three of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championships at the Thunder Valley National in Lakewood on Saturday as team mate James Stewart crashed and failed to score after injuring his wrist.
Metcalfe raced his 2012 Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to a solid fifth-place overall, which included a podium finish in the first moto, but Stewart crashed while leading the first moto after a lapse of concentration when an individual crossed the track in front of him.
To say that Stewart suffered bad luck would be an understatement of epic proportions: Having won the first four motos of the season, he came into the Colorado event ready to race and he qualified fastest. In the first 450 moto, Stewart got a decent start and charged ahead on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to take the lead, but as he attempted to negotiate one of the fastest sections of the course, he unexpectedly encountered a person walking across the track. Immediately distracted, Stewart went down hard and injured his wrist and, hoping to minimise the damage, he did not race the second moto.
Said Stewart: "I had a good start to the day. Practice was good and we made some small adjustments to the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450. In the first moto, my start was not what I wanted, but I was able to make some fast moves to get to the front of the pack. I had about a two-second lead and I was finding some rhythm. Then, as I came off a jump, there was a guy running across the track toward the inside of the turn where my line was. It blew my concentration; I took my eyes off the landing and then it was too late to do anything. Now, I'm just going to train this week and see how my wrist feels, but I want to make sure we're 100 per cent for Mt. Morris."
Metcalfe was eager to get back into the mix at Colorado after a tough time at the previous race. He worked with the team all week on setting up the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450. Feeling comfortable on the bike, Metcalfe qualified fourth and had a great first moto, picking up a podium finish thanks to a third-placed result. In the second moto, he got a good start but got caught up with some riders who crashed in his path. As a result, the Australian had to work his way through the field to 10th. Overall, however, Metcalfe finished the day in a very respectable fifth.
"I felt good coming in to this race," said Metcalfe. "In the first moto, it was intense early on, but I started picking guys off and had moved up to third by the end of the race. I felt strong and I was happy with third, and it was good to get the first podium of the year. In moto two, the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was running great and I was feeling good. I got a decent start, but on the first lap I got tangled up with some guys who came together and I ended up way back in the field. I had to really charge through, but I was able to do that and got up to 10th. Overall, I'm happy with my riding and the results. Now we go to High Point, which is a good track for me and I'm looking forward to racing there. My riding is at a great level now so I need to focus on getting up front and staying in attack mode."
Team Yoshimura Suzuki Racing's next event is the fourth round of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, June 9th, at the High Point National in Mt. Morris, PA.