GEICO Powersports Honda Team Moving from the Sauna to the Mud BathThursday, June 10, 2010 | 12:15 PM
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MT. MORRIS, Pa. -- The GEICO Powersports Honda motocross team may very well going from one extreme to the other.
Last week the riders broiled in triple-digit Texas heat, with three of the five team riders needing medical attention after their motos. This week as the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship turns to western Pennsylvania, the forecast is calling for cool temperatures and rain.
"It certainly should be a bit more agreeable temperature-wise than it was in Texas," said team 450cc rider Brett Metcalfe. "This week there's a chance for rain. That's the way the sport of motocross goes. But after last weekend I think I'll take rain over 100-degree temps."
If the track does become a mud bog, Metcalfe said the team's mechanics will have to focus on buttoning the bikes up to keep them water-tight.
"There's a lot you have to do to prepare for a mud race," Metcalfe said. "You've got to make the bike as protected as you can. The electrical system can get water in it, so you have to tape it up, put WD-40 on many of the electric things. You have to make sure water can't get into the air filter. Any of those things can be trouble."
Metcalfe also said riders have to change their style a bit to successfully make it though the mud.
"As a rider, you have to stand up a lot more," Metcalfe said. "You've got to keep as much weight as you can on the back of the bike. You get a lot of wheel spin when you are going through mud, so you have to transfer weight toward the back wheel of the bike. The front end can get heavy with mud as well, so that's another consideration."
Melcalfe also said riding clean lines and keeping your goggles clean is of great importance.
"Goggles are the biggest issue in a mud race," he said. "If you can maintain your goggles the whole race and have good vision, it's a huge advantage.
"Small things get really, really important in a mud race."
Metcalfe and teammates Trey Canard, Justin Barcia, Blake Wharton and Eli Tomac hit High Point Raceway Saturday for the third of 12 races on the summer series.