KTM pledged its American teams would support the MXGP of the USA at Glen Helen, and that included not only the Red Bull KTM factory outfit, but also factory-supported Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs KTM. The trip up the road to Glen Helen paid off, as Jessy Nelson dominated the proceedings with a 1-1 to win in the MX2 class, and teammate Shane McElrath went 3-2 for second. Our man Steve Matthes caught up to both after the race.
I don’t want to say they come easy, but it looked like a good ride out there.
Jessy Nelson: Yeah, it was good. I felt strong. The qualifier doesn’t really matter; it’s just for gate pick—I started about dead last and came back for sixth. I just had fun toward the end of the race, so that was good. I felt great; it was a good day.
It came together nicely for you in both motos.
Yeah, second moto, I had a better start. First moto, I didn’t have a bad start, but I put in a hard charge on the first lap to kind of make things happen. Tried to get a little gap and race the clock.
Track was prepped different than for a national?
Yeah, they didn’t prep it from Saturday to Sunday. It wasn’t as rough as a national gets.
They didn’t water it as much?
They flooded it Saturday morning. Track was awesome on Sunday. I had such a good time in the second moto.
Tell me you get a win bonus for this and you didn’t do it for nothing.
I don’t know. We’ll see! It was a great weekend. Can’t thank the team enough: Tyler Keefe, the team manager; my motor builder Ryan Cox; crew chief Wayne, my suspension guy Luke from WP, everyone.
Nice ride, and I guess you have to tip your hat to Nelson.
Shane McElrath: Yeah, it was good for the whole Troy Lee Designs team. Obviously we all want to win, but it was good that we went 1-2—that was the goal, although I would have liked to have been on top, but hey, that’s the way it went. Just a lot of fun this weekend, different style, different type of track kinda. Just learning how it works on different stuff, a good experience all around.
Did you find the extra riding catching up to you at all?
Not really. It’s so spread out that at the end you have time to rest in between. It’s definitely more spread out and laid back, but in the end it’s about the same.
How was the track different than the usual Glen Helen?
Compared to our national this year, the national had more moisture in it. But compared to our national in 2014, this was kind of similar—hot, dry, and rough too. It was pretty cool to see that and not have a million ruts out there.
What did Jessy have on you? Maybe just the sprint at the beginning?
Yeah, I just made a few mistakes. The beginning was good, but in the middle I settled down a little bit and found my groove. I had some good laps, then I’d make some mistakes; we were kind of playing cat and mouse a little bit. Started catching him a little toward the end once I had some lines figured out. Overall it was good.