The following is a release from Tyla Rattray's media service -
Red Bull KTM's Tyla Rattray has been forced to end his 2007 FIM Motocross World Championship prematurely in order to undergo a reconstruction on his right knee, twisted and injured last week at Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic.
The 21 year old South African, who is currently third in the MX2 standings and had been chosen, once again, to represent his country at the Motocross of Nations (the 61st edition at Budds Creek in the USA), will have surgery next Wednesday to repair a stretched Anterior Cruciate ligament, damaged lateral ligaments and also some tidying up with his meniscus.
The former vice world champion received the bad news this morning after consulting specialists near his base in Belgium for the second time this week. Initially it was feared that Rattray could miss out on this weekend's Grand Prix of Belgium, the 12th round of 15, at Namur but was advised that he will need to go under the knife for the second time on the joint.
He will need at least four month recovery window, there after he will start his training program to be fighting fit for the 2008 GP campaign in which he will steer the works SX250F once more.
"This is obviously a major disappointment for me," he said. "The doctor was not too positive the first time I saw him and did some tests on Monday, and he said to come back on Thursday for a definite verdict about Namur. I can put weight on my leg and walk, but he explained that the knee was not strong enough to race and could give way at any moment causing more mess."
"I can't believe my bad luck and that another season is going to end on the operating table," he added. "I hope to have a more advanced procedure done on the ligaments that will make them stronger but will add another month onto the recovery time."
"I want to thank KTM and the team for all their hard work, my sponsors and my fans and followers both in South Africa and at the races. I am obviously really emotional at the moment with all the misfortune that seems to follow me around all the time but I will never give up and will keep believing in myself and hope for better things in the future."