OAKLAND, CALIF. (February 3, 2018) – Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Alex Martin returned to racing after being forced to sit on the sidelines since Round 1, showcasing his talent as he earned the main event holeshot and finishing fifth. Shane McElrath did what he could after having to come into the mechanics area for a quick fix after going down and ended the night 15th. McElrath is now third in the championship standings as the season hit its halfway point at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
It was a good feeling for Martin to line up for the first time in almost a month. As he continued to get back to race-pace, Martin started the evening with a fourth-place heat race. His gate pick and timing were right on the money as he bolted out of the gate to his first holeshot of the season in the main event. He held off pressure for a few laps before settling into second. Martin raced hard and would eventually pick up fifth in his first race back.
“I didn’t really know what to expect coming back,” said Martin. “The top guys were all going really good so to get fifth feels pretty awesome. It’s definitely something to build off of and we can only hope to improve as we head to San Diego.”
The evening started out in a familiar way for McElrath, who took his fourth straight heat race win. Having not lost a heat race yet this season, McElrath brought that confidence into the main event. He got a good jump out of the gate but got pinched off on the inside of the first turn and then another rider pushed a tough block in his path, forcing him outside the top 10 right away. As he was making his way forward, McElrath landed on a tough block at the end of a rhythm section and was forced to pull into the pits to straighten out his bike. After getting back onto the track, he was able to make up a few spots to finish 15th.
“Tonight was tough for me because we had the speed all day and I got impatient after being pinched off and held up at the start,” said McElrath. “After losing so much time for coming into the pits it was about getting as many points as we possibly could. There is still a lot racing left with this only being the halfway point so I’m looking forward to redeeming myself next weekend.”
McElrath and Martin both started the day off in the GP Air Jersey Prisma Team and the GP Air Pant Mono Navy. Once qualifying was complete, the duo changed into the SE Jersey Squadra Orange/Navy and SE Pant Squadra Orange/Navy. The gear was rounded out by the SE4 Polyacrylite Helmet Pinstripe Blue.
250SX Class Main Event Results – Oakland, California
15. Shane McElrath (KTM)
250SX Class Western Region Points Standings