News 7 Feb 2017

Losing the red plate a 'relief' for McElrath at this point

Previous West Coast 250SX leader prepares to fight back.

Source: Supplied.

Contesting the opening five rounds with a heavy target on his back, former Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship West Coast 250SX points leader, Shane McElrath, is glad to see the pressure of the red plate shifted to new points leader, Justin Hill.

Entering this weekend’s Arlington round just one marker down on Hill and without the red plate for the first time since Anaheim 1, the Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM rider ‘couldn’t be more relieved’.

“It’s actually a big relief (to not be leading the points chase),” said McElrath. “This is the first time I’ve had all the pressure off of myself. It’s been a tough five races and it seems like it’s only gotten tougher having the target on my back, so we’re one point down now and I couldn’t be more relieved.”

Only recently claiming his career-first 250SX main event victory at the season opening round, leading a championship is an unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation for the 22-year-old.

“It’s something where I can settle down now,” he explained. “That’s been my biggest thing – trying to understand how to deal with it. I’m here and I’m thankful that I’m safe. I’m ready for next weekend and ready to put up a fight going into the break.”

The 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship West Coast 250SX series will contest one final round this weekend in Arlington before taking a seven-round break as the East Coast 250SX series gets underway.