Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Shane McElrath took the victory in the 250 class at the fifth annual Red Bull Straight Rhythm. McElrath has now captured a top spot on the podium three years in a row, advancing out of the Lites class from last year into the premier category this year.
“I had to get a little angry and know that a good run wasn’t going to win,” McElrath said. “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 awesome.”
Ryan Dungey came out of retirement for the all-two-stroke race and battled with McElrath in the finals. The four-time AMA Supercross champion finished second for the night aboard a KTM 250 SX in his first race back since retiring from professional racing in 2017.
“That was fun,” Dungey said. “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.”
Ryan Villopoto rounded out the podium on his retro-looking Yamaha YZ250 while Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jordon Smith finished fourth.