Catching Up with Daniel Elmore | Brought to You by Atlas Brace

By Billy Rainford

Brought to you by Atlas Brace

#13 Daniel Elmore from Telkwa, BC finished 7th overall in the 2022 Canadian Triple Crown 450 MX Nationals and ended the season with a 4th place in the final moto at Walton Raceway. And yet, the quiet-but-fast rider finds himself on the outside looking in when it comes to a ride for the upcoming season.

From having his bikes stolen right before the season started to riding through a couple injuries, Daniel proved he’s made of special stuff last year. We know he’s about to head back to Club MX to train so we wanted to catch up with him to talk about last season and find out what he’s got planned for 2023.

Daniel went from being down in turn 1 to 4th place in the final 450 moto of last summer at Walton Raceway! | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hey, Daniel. Hope you’re having a great Holiday Season. I wanted to grab you for a chat to see where you are and what your plans are. Let’s start by looking back at the 2022 season.You traveled with your little brother again, right? How does that arrangement work for you guys? Do you get along at the beginning AND the end of the series?

Daniel Elmore: Hi, Billy! It’s going pretty good, thanks. Yah, my brother traveled with me the entire season. He raced the amateur day and I would mechanic for him and then we reverse the roles on pro day. We got along pretty well for the most part. Haha. Had a few moments but that’s just how it goes as brothers.

Did you park your trailer at Gopher Dunes when it made sense again like the year before? How was the travel?

Yes, we spent a lot of the time at Gopher Dunes! They’ve been really awesome with letting me stay there. The travel was great, also travelled with some buddies from back in the 85 days. Had a lot of fun in the off time!

You ended up 7th in 450 MX and were pretty much always a threat for a top 5-7. You came out with a solid 5th at Round 1. Did you feel like that was where you belonged in Kamloops?

Yah, I think I belong there. There’s always doubts coming into the season of how good you are but that all went out the window about 10 minutes into the second moto at Kamloops. I just started passing guys, got a little lucky, but I even went down with two laps to go, so I realized I was at that level.

Daniel is pretty quiet and likes to let his riding do the talking for him. | Bigwave photo

Take us through what happened at Round 2 and how it was getting back. Did you almost turn around and go home for the year?

Yah, that one was a bummer. I was running around 7th in the first moto and just high-sided right before the finish line. I separated both my shoulders the year before so I knew instantly that’s what I did. Usually you can finish with that but it was way too painful.  I found out I ended up fracturing my collarbone as well. I did end up going home for 2 weeks but I knew I would be back. I came back for Walton 1 only 3 weeks out.

You finished out the eastern swing and ended it with a very solid 4th in moto 2 at the final round at Walton. Was that your best ride of the year?

100%! First moto seemed like I was alone in 7th for most of it.  Second moto I was in the first turn pile up and came from around 28th to 4th by the finish! I passed about 24 guys! I will definitely remember that one forever.

Oh ya, I forgot you were down at the start! You did the Ontario rounds of the AX Tour, too. How did that go for you?

Can we not talk about this? Haha. I had a brutal crash 3 days before Gopher injuring my ankle pretty bad.  The bike hit neutral tripling into the rhythm and it was a yardsale from there. I just laid there for like 5 minutes, it did not feel good. I did the best I could but there’s only so much you can do. I’m still doing physio now. 

I remember you trying to ride on that foot. Is the indoor game something that interests you?

Yes, I do enjoy it for sure. This year was just unfortunate for indoors. 

What did you do after that? Do you have a 9-5 job when you’re not racing?

Well, I came home and got to work. haha. I’m currently working in forestry and it’s for sure not 9-5.  I really don’t like working outside in our winters up here, but I’m putting in the hours to help pay for this racing thing I do. Haha! 

He had his bikes stolen right before the season, hurt his shoulder at Drumheller, and his ankle at Gopher Dunes, but pushed through it all to finish 7th in the 450 series. | Bigwave photo

Circling back, you had bikes stolen before the 2022 season and still made it happen. How difficult was it to actually do the whole series last summer, financially?

Yah, that one hurt. Ben (Graves) the trainer at Club walked up to me and said they had a break in last night. I knew what he was going to say next, it just felt awful. It was definitely a hard time but between my parents and Kourtney Lloyd we were able to get a couple bikes for the season. If it wasn’t for them I don’t know if I could have made it for the season, especially having them stolen in April.

And now you’re getting ready to head back down to Club MX, right? When will you leave and how long will you stay there?

Yah, that’s right! I’m planning on mid-January, but it does depend a bit on how much money I can earn or funding I can come up with by then.

Hey, Mike Bonacci told me a story about how you took off on your bicycle, rode all the way to Myrtle beach, surfed, and the rode back to Club! It’s 183km each way! What were you thinking?!

Honestly, it’s insane how this story got around! Haha. It was in 2021 during the Christmas break at Club so there wasn’t any training going on for a few days and I got bored. I had always wanted to do a 100k ride so I decided to go almost double and combine it with a surfing weekend. Why not, right? About half way there I was regretting it in the moment but no regrets now that’s for sure! It’s one of those things I look back on and am glad I did.

Daniel helps his younger brother on Amateur Day and Orrin Elmore helps him on Pro Day. | Bigwave photo

So, at this point, it seems like you’re on the outside looking in as far as a full ride is concerned for 2023. Have you been talking with any teams? How is it looking?

I have talked to almost every team now. Honestly, I don’t know anymore. We’ll see but it doesn’t look promising.

What if you don’t get major support for next season? What will you do?

Same as this last year. The amount of time and stress it takes to race as a privateer at this level is brutal, I just don’t have the resources that the teams do. Something as simple as suspension takes me months to dial in and then I go to a track if it doesn’t handle right I just have to deal with it. But that’s just how it is right now and I’m willing to do whatever it takes.

You’re a pretty quiet guy. Results can speak for themselves, but do you think forcing yourself out of that might help you? Is that something you think about?

Yah, I’m usually pretty quiet. Results definitely speak, but I have learned that getting out there and getting to know people in the motocross industry matters. I don’t just think about it… I’m working on it! Haha

Well, you’re a rider who is on the short list of those capable of top 5 performances. We’re hoping you get the support you need to make this easier for you to do well. Keep plugging away and good luck with it all. Who would you like to thank, Daniel?

Thanks, Billy, I appreciate it! The list is huge, obviously. First off are my parents, I’m 20 years old and their still helping where they can and for that I am super grateful. And a huge thank you to Kourtney Lloyd and Cycle North, she helps in every way possible and, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t think I would’ve made it through the entire year if it wasn’t for her support. And then there’s Skiptooth Forestry, OTW Canada, Fly Racing, North Country Rentals, Driftwood Diamond Drilling, Northcoast Equipment, Atlas Brace, FMF Vision, Bell Helmets, TCX Boots, Mobius Brace, Seco Seatcovers, Torc1 Racing, Dirt Tricks, DT1 Filters, Mika Metals and Works Connection! And also thank you to all the fans that turned up this year! I’ve never experienced that before, it was really cool!

Keep going, Daniel, we know you never stop pushing! | Bigwave photo