When they don’t race the US-based series, you almost forget about them, but when a number 24 comes ripping by you at one of the local practice tracks here in SoCal it all comes rushing back. The 2013 MX1 Canadian National Champion, Brett Metcalfe, will be heading back up north this year with Monster Energy Kawasaki to defend his title, but the Australian still lives and trains down here in the US. We ran into Metty the other day at Glen Helen, and we had the chance to talk with him for a few minutes about Canada, his plans for the US Nationals, and beyond.
Plans For 2014
My plans this year are the Canadian Nationals with the Monster Energy Kawasaki team and the Glen Helen National. I've been preparing since January to head back up north and try to defend the championship. They start the week after Glen Helen.
Racing In Canada
It's fun. It's more like a big amateur event down here--it's not like the AMA spec, but the tracks are fun and the atmosphere is very relaxed. The racing is intense! Last year I had some pretty intense battles throughout the season. The tracks are tighter, almost like if you held a National at Milestone because the tracks are so much smaller. It creates for really intense racing and great battles. It's nice country up there, too, and it's cool to be able to fly in and out and still live and train down here.
Over the last 10 or 20 years there's always been guys from here that go up there and compete, and the guys up there are no joke--they're not slow by any means. They're all top-level riders, and a few more AMA riders are heading up there this year, I believe. I think the racing is going to be closer and maybe a little bit more competitive, but last year was a battle, too. I have a lot of respect for the Canadians, and the top five guys are really competitive.
It was the best option I had this year. A couple of things popped up late, but I had already made commitments with the Monster Energy Kawasaki team. I'm happy, because I have a family now, and have the best of both worlds--I get to race a competitive series, I get good support from Monster and Kawasaki, and I get to have plenty of family time. So I have a really good position that I enjoy doing.
Favorite Canadian Round
I really enjoyed Calgary. For anyone traveling there out of LA, you can get a direct flight into Calgary. The track is literally 10 minutes away from the airport, the hotel is a 30-second walk from the track, and Calgary in general is a large, nice city. The track is really cool, too--kind of Supercross-style, and with big jumps like here in the US. That was a really fun event last year.
2014 US Nationals
At this point I can only do four that don't conflict, but two are east coast and it's just really difficult for me to pack up a bike, drive, and organize my own stuff to do an event that's not a part of a championship for me. There's nothing to gain from it other than to just have some fun and go race. Glen Helen is obviously easy for me to do, and I'm looking forward to that--I'm stoked to be racing there! Other than that, we'll see.
I don't know at this point--we'll just see what comes my way. Right now I'm contracted up there [Canada]. I feel like I'm still in my prime at this point and that I'm not slowing down at all. There are guys that have won races at 35 or 36, and I feel like I have a long way to go. It's all mental and if you really have the drive and desire than you can achieve it. So I don't know--we'll just have to see what comes up.