THE KTM 250 SX DOMINATES RED BULL STRAIGHT RHYTHM
- It was on an exciting and nostalgic night at the Pomona Fairplex
in Southern California as the Red Bull Straight Rhythm brought top
riders from all faces - including retirement - for a special
head-to-head bracket style of racing with 40 seconds of wide-open
obstacles aboard two-stroke machines only. Troy Lee Designs/Red
Shane McElrath emerged as the winner of the premier 250cc division,
besting four-time AMA Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey, who finished
second for the night aboard a Red Bull
KTM 250 SX in his first race back since retiring from
professional racing in 2017.
Shane McElrath, #12 KTM 250
McElrath, who has never raced a 250cc
two-stroke before, earned the third seed heading into the bracket
racing. He faced Darryn Durham in the first bout, sweeping the
first two races to advance to round two. There, McElrath faced
retired KTM racer and now team test rider, Ryan Morais, in a close
head-to-head battle. Morais held his own in both motos but it was
McElrath who prevailed to the semi-final round, where he lined up
side-by-side with his Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM teammate,
Jordan Smith. McElrath and Smith split race wins, which brought it
down to a third and final race to decide who would move on to the
final round. The KTM duo was evenly matched in the beginning but
McElrath grabbed the edge right at the end to best his teammate and
move onto the final round.
Ryan Dungey, #5 KTM 250
For Dungey, he came out of retirement
with a bang as he took the number one seed into race one, where he
topped Mike Brown in the first two races. In round two, Dungey
faced French rider Cedric Soubeyras and he put in two good runs to
move onto the semi-final round, where he went up against longtime
rival Ryan Villopoto for a spot in the final round. Dungey remained
steady in both races to best Villopoto in what proved to be one of
the most exciting moments of the night as the old championship
rivalry came to life on the straight rhythm course.
Final Showdown - McElrath
It was a battle of the KTM 250 SX in
the final round as McElrath lined up against Dungey for all the
marbles. McElrath, who has won the Red Bull Straight Rhythm twice
before in the Lites Class, found the early advantage and bested
Dungey in the first race. Switching sides, the duo battled again in
race two but this time it was Dungey who prevailed, leaving the
final winner up to a third race.
Despite a hard fight by Dungey,
McElrath dominated the final race to claim the overall title.
Dungey finished second in his first race since retirement.
had to get a little angry and know that a good run wasn't going to
win. I mean, these two sitting on my right and left [Ryan Dungey
and Ryan Villopoto], they're not four-time champs for nothing. It's
40 seconds in a straight line but this really teaches you a lot of
technique and stuff. Man, god is good, this is
Dungey: "That was fun. I was a little nervous coming into today - I mean, you're going fast and you're pushing it, but the bike worked awesome. I had a good time, got off some good starts and I was pumped to get to where we did. I wanted the win for sure, but second is good too."