The following release is from KTM…
Factory MX2 rider Tyla Rattray shook off the effects of a several day hospitalisation due to a leg infection to register a clean sweep at Zolder, Belgium, for the opening round of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championships this afternoon.
The South African, making his GP debut on the 250F, was fastest in every practice session on Saturday, won his qualification heat, posted the best time in morning warm-up and then produced faultless performances in the two 35 minute and 2 lap motos. It was his fourth career success.
His team-mate Carl Nunn claimed 10th and 9th on his first World Championship outing for the Champ team. The second moto promised more for the Briton until he stalled the bike while challenging for fourth place.
In front of 20,000 fans (over the weekend) and under blue skies with hot sunshine Ben Townley came close to sealing his first MX1 podium. The reigning MX2 number one slipped off briefly while trying to pass Mickael Pichon for second place in the first moto and then another minor fall in the second race meant that he couldn’t close down Stefan Everts for fourth spot. Fourth overall was still a satisfactory MX1 baptism for the New Zealander. Steve Ramon had a GP to forget as a crash in the first race and an engine stall in the second left the 2004 Zolder moto winner struggling to enter the leaderboard.
Stefan Everts and Joel Smets were moto winners with the defending World Champion earning the overall victory.
The second round of the World Championships takes place in two weeks time at Bellpuig for the Grand Prix of Spain.
“I put two good races together today. Over the whole weekend I was feeling good on the bike and confident with the track. I had two good starts and could pull away pretty quickly. I had been in a hospital bed for four days this week unable to do anything because of an infection. The motos were hard towards the end but of course I’m happy with the win.”
“Everyone says I should be happy but I feel that I should have been on the podium. I crashed twice today. The second one was a stupid mistake; the front wheel just went away. For the first it was just a racing incident with Pichon, maybe I should have waited and taken him in a better place. I have to work on my starts, they are letting me down and making my races harder. Overall it was a good weekend. We still need to work on a better set-up and we will progress from here.”
“I was maybe pushing a bit too hard in the first race. I made a mistake and lost time to Smets but then Coppins rode alongside in a rut on the inside of a corner. He was going flat-out towards the outside of the track and touched me with his elbow. I lost control and made a big crash, going into the public. In the second race the track was so bumpy I could not find a good rhythm and then I stalled the bike.”
Carl Nunn: “The second race was good. It would have been better if I hadn’t stalled the bike and lost thirty seconds. I think I would’ve preferred to fly over the bars rather than stall! I thought I was going for third at the time but I still waited to pass Cairoli seeing as everyone was tipping him for the Championship this year. The first race was hard but they usually are and I expected that, everyone gets tired or tense. After the first race you normally learn what you have to do for the next races in terms of riding and training. I wanted a top ten result and got one in both motos and the overall so I’m satisfied.”