Durban-born Tyla Rattray clinches Motocross World Champs

2008-09-19 00:00

Durban-born Factory Red Bull KTM motocrosser Tyla Rattray became only the third South African to have clinched a motocross world championship when he won the FIM MX2 series in the final round of the championship in Faenza, Italy, last weekend. The win is Rattray’s maiden title in the MX2 class, after finishing as runner-up in 2004 and being thwarted by injuries in previous championships.

“I have had a lot of bad luck in the past few years, but I am thrilled that this year was my year. It feels great to be a world champion — but I think this feeling is just as awesome in any sport,” he said.

Rattray claimed 13 podiums from 15 GPs, including four overall wins, to realise his lifetime ambition.

“I have wanted this since I first got on a bike at five years old, and I owe a big debt to my trainer, Russell White, the guys at KTM, my fans, my sponsors, my friends and, of course, my parents, who have supported me every step of the way.”

Rattray said he won’t be able to defend his MX2 title next year as he will be making the move into the premium MX1 class. “It’s going to be a huge challenge for me, but I am really looking forward to it. I have 100% belief in my programme and I am confident I will be able to put up a fight for the championship in the new class next year,” he said.

He added that his win bodes well for the growth of South African motocross and he is hopeful it will inspire local riders to pursue their dreams of riding on a GP circuit. “We also have a round of the MX World Championship in Nelspruit for the next few years, so I think that will also help the sport to grow every year.”

Rattray will visit family and friends in SA during his off-season.

He will be participating in his last MX event of the year when he’ll be riding for team South Africa in the Red Bull Motocross of Nations at Donington Park in Britain on September 23.

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