Break time is over for the riders of the GEICO Powersports Honda motocross team, and veteran leader Brett Metcalfe is ready to get back in the saddle and lead his group to multiple wins and podium finishes this summer.
The Supercross season officially ended two weeks ago and the Lucas Oil Motocross Championship series now takes over with action beginning this Saturday at the 42nd annual Hangtown Motocross Classic outside Sacramento.
An Australian by birth, Metcalfe will represent the GEICO Powersports brand on the team’s lone 450cc bike, while rising stars Justin Barcia, Trey Canard, Blake Wharton, and rookie Eli Tomac will compete on 250cc Hondas.
Brett Metcalfe says: "The outdoor season is a lot like the grassroots of motocross," Metcalfe said. "Supercross is a short course and everyone can see it. Outdoors takes place on all-natural terrain. The track is a lot longer and there’s a lot bigger area for us to race on."
Since very few of the courses on the Motocross schedule have adequate lighting, the majority of races will be run during the heat of the day, placing an even bigger premium than normal on the fitness of the riders.
"The tracks are usually one or one-and-a-half miles long," Metcalfe said. "They are a lot longer than the arena courses and can get rougher with much bigger jumps, which the fans really love.
"It’s physically demanding, and when we start racing in places like Texas, the temperature can get up over 100 degrees. We’re out there pushing our bodies as hard as we can for two 30-minute races. It’s survival of the fittest."
Metcalfe raced a 250cc bike during the indoor season, and said he’s enjoyed the transition to the bigger bike.
"It’s a new category of riders to race against," Metcalfe said. "It’s just exciting all the way around. It’s feeling really good so far. The unknown of how I’m going to do in these races is a cool feeling.
"I love riding the 450. I’ve spent a lot of time on the 250s and it’s been a challenge to adapt. But I just love it now; it’s really suiting me."
As for his younger counterparts on the GEICO Powersports team, "Metty" says he’s happy to help in any way possible.
"The guys on this team are great," Metcalfe said. "They’re fun to race against and they’re awesome teammates. I’m always happy to go over things with them. We really all help each other. We’re all riding for the win but we always take the time to talk strategy. We’re a true team in every sense of the word."
The race will be televised at 6 p.m. EDT Sunday on SPEED.