Interview: Shane McElrath – Cardiff WSX SX2 winner!

After a bit of confusion, it was Shane McElrath who was eventually awarded the overall win in a deep SX2 class in Cardiff with three consistent top 5 rides despite not the greatest of starts.

McElrath has had a tough couple of years in the 450 class but he looked comfortable back on the 250 Yamaha racing for the Rick Ware (a big name in US Motorsport) SX team and is back on the top step of the podium. We caught up with a happy McElrath after the race to get his thoughts on the day and the trip to the UK.

Shane McElrath, I’m not even sure how i would describe it, it’s great to watch but what is it like doing three main events , some come away on the podium but you were battling in every race there!

Very intense! The little breaks we had weren’t long enough.

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Did the heart rate come down at all?!

No, I mean, dude, trying to stop sweating, trying to get a drink of water, set the holeshot button, put your helmet and goggles on – you literally didn’t have time to do anything! But honestly, just the learning part of it and going through it, we were learning all day, you have to go and do this then this and this. We had to adapt on the fly but next time we will have a better idea on how the schedule goes but yeah, very intense, there was a lot of bumping and banging out there. My starts did not make it very fun but I had a blast racing, definitely need to fix my starts but man, what a great first round of the world supercross series.

What did it feel like to be back on a 250 Yamaha? Was it familiar to you?

Yeah, it’s definitely familiar, I wanted to get my confidence back up. I wanted to race again because my last two years in the 450 class, just injuries and some team issues, I’ve really done ten races total. I really want to get my confidence up and go back on thr 450 one day but I want t make the transition good though, and I don’t feel like I’ve done that.

It felt like you lost your momentum (from the 250 form), what is happening next year?

Nothing yet, I do have a two-year deal with Rick (Ware) though (his team owner for WSX) for World supercross next year, so, yeah we will see.

And this is a good warm up if there is anything for America, you have shown your speed.

I am excited about that, for me it is just about getting my confidence back and learning how to be aggressive again. I felt like I didn’t make that transition very well to the 450 class.

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What was the toughest thing about it? I know you were injured so it wasn’t a totally fair reflection…

Honestly, I think for me that probably was it, in 2020 because of Covid our outdoor season went to October and then I was on the MCR Honda for 4 -5 weeks then I got hurt and missed the first five rounds of supercross that year, I raced twice and then i got hurt again so it’s been a rough run the last two years and I want to build back up.

And what did you think of Cardiff? Had you heard of Wales before how did you find the whole environment and what did you think of the stadium?

Honestly, it’s been a lot of fun it’s just super cool to be over here with my wife we just celebrated five years being married, jsut to see a different culture. We have been to Mexico one for an anniversary but this is really our first time travelling out of the States so it’s been a lot of fun!

And at least we speak English (in the UK)!

Oh yeah, that’s good, that’s really good! We will have to work on some things when we start going to other countries, for now we are good!

Interview: Jonathan McCready

Image: WSX