Catching Up With…Tyla Rattray

The current FIM World Motocross GP MX2 champ is now a third of the way through his first US racing campaign.  Under the mighty Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki tent, Tyla has had some good performances this year, remains in championship contention, and is very much looking forward to the rest of the 250 class series.  We caught up with Tyla earlier today to find out his thoughts on racing the AMA Motocross Nationals so far.

How would you say your season is going for you?

It's going good.  I am fourth in the points right now and I think I am in a good position.  We have eight more rounds left and my goal now is, for sure, to start racing for wins.  I got my feet wet at the first four rounds and now I know what I need to work on.  The weekend we had off was good for me and gave me the chance to work on a few things that I was lacking in the races, so I am definitely looking forward to these next few rounds.

In general, what did you feel that you were lacking?

The last race, I was able to get the bike really good out of the gate so that was a big help.  For those first few laps of the races, I have been struggling a little bit and losing some positions, so I have been practicing with that this week.  I have just been working really hard and pretty much approaching everything like I did last year and working on a few little things here and there to just perfect my riding a bit.

How did the year start out for you?  You did pretty well at Glen Helen, but are you in the position that you expected to be in?

Yeah, Glen Helen was a really good round for me; I finished third overall there.  In the second moto I felt really fresh and strong.  Then we went to the second round and I was riding really bad there; I think I got a fourth and a seventh which is not that good.  Then we went to Texas and I feel that I rode a lot better there.  I liked the track, but again I didn't have such great results, I think I ended up with a fifth and sixth.  Then at the fourth round in Mt. Morris, I felt really good and comfortable on that track.  Tommy (Searle) and I always seem to find each other on the track and we had a pretty good battle in both of the races and I finished fourth overall there.  We are getting closer and closer to the front now and I think this weekend is going to be really good.  I have been watching the race from last year on TV and paying attention to who is really good on that track and what the ground is like.  I am really looking forward to Colorado.  The track is at a really high altitude and we've got good bikes that I think will be at a little bit of an advantage.

What do you think of the competition so far this year?  Racing here is definitely different than racing the GPs, right?

Ryan Dungey and Trey Canard were both riding really good.  Unfortunately Trey is injured now, but he was riding really good.  I have raced both Christophe Pourcel and Tommy in the past.  I think Christophe and Dungey are a little bit ahead but I think if I just keep working hard on what I'm lacking I think I can get up to the front for sure.

When Marc de Reuver came over here last year, he mentioned how hot and humid it was.  Have the weather and heat been much of a concern for you here?

The weather here is definitely a bit warmer here than in Europe but when I am back home in South Africa, there is nothing hotter than that.  There is a track that we ride there, and I have never been to a track anywhere in the world that is hotter than that.  On a normal day it gets to about 120 degrees plus the humidity so I am used to the heat.  Durban, where I am from in the South Africa, it's really humid and hot so I am pretty used to the heat.  Weather its cold or hot, it's the same for me, but I do prefer racing in hot weather.

So Freestone, even though it was not your best performance, you felt comfortable?

Yeah.  A lot of people were saying Texas was really hot, but you don't know hot until you go to South Africa during in the summer.  Here in California, when it's 90 degrees, its actually pretty nice.