Shane McElrath will join the Rocky Mountain KTM team in 2022 in the 450 class in both Supercross and Motocross competition. It will be his first full season on a 450 after his 2021 debut was interrupted by a shoulder injury in January ahead of the season opening SX race in Houston. McElrath would return to run just two SX races this year with a best of 14th in Orlando 2.
McElrath was scheduled to graduate to the 450 class after a successful career on 250s. He earned six 250SX victories and two 250MX victories. McElrath hoped to build on the momentum of a runner-up points’ finish in the 250SX East division in 2020. And that seemed to be working as he finished third in the outdoor season later that year.
“We are excited to bring Shane onto the team for the 2022 racing season, and we are so for many reasons,” said team co-owner Forrest Butler in a release. “We as a team have a lot of changes in store for 2022, and Shane fits the mold for a lot of them.
“Professional SX and MX racing is changing; the top 10 in the 450 class has become like the top 10 in the NASCAR Cup class. The sport is exploding, there are so many good guys, we are all having to adjust and Shane is a rider that not only believes in himself, he believes in our team. We are actually two guys that have watched each other for a long time now from opposite sides and have always wanted to work together. Shane has and shows a tremendous amount of respect for our team and sponsors, and I personally have watched him do just that with teams he has ridden for in the past.
“At the same time, he has worn the red plate before, and he knows what he wants and expects out of himself on the race track. We are excited, and ready!”
McElrath closed out his 250 SX career in style by winning twice and sweeping the top two spots in five races at Salt Lake City as the series closed out that season in a single location because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In 250MX competition later that year, he stood on the podium twice in the RedBud Nationals and earned five top-fives.
“I’m super excited for the opportunity to join the Rocky Mountain team,” said McElrath. “I feel like I’m getting the chance to work alongside some great people, people that are focused on the same goals as myself. My wife and I are very thankful for this team believing in me, and we are looking to start working and building for the 2022 season now.
“See you all at Anaheim 1!”