After officially retiring from professional racing in September, Tyla Rattray has now transitioned into a role that he couldn’t be happier with. Working as the team trainer and mentor for the Troy Lee Designs Redbull KTM 250 team, and also working one-on-one with Dean Wilson, he’s been very busy and finds himself passing along all of the valuable knowledge he’s learned in his long and successful career. With Anaheim 1 quickly approaching, many of Tyla’s days are spent at the track or in the gym helping prepare his riders with every tool needed to get the job done. We sat down with him to hear what he thinks of the new gig.
Tell us how the transition from professional racing to trainer/mentor has been?
It's been smooth. Something I've always I wanted to do when I was done racing is work with guys and train guys, you know I've always been a hard worker myself, and showed that in outdoors too. And then obviously for Supercross, I came over to the US quite late for that and learned as much as I could in that short amount of time that I was here. It's been good so far, it's been a great time working with these guys.
This is a busy time for everyone, and it seems like you’ve been a big part of team Troy Lee Designs Redbull KTM’s pre-season prep.
Obviously the West Coast season is starting in basically four weeks, so I'm trying to get those guys ready. I'm also working with Dean Wilson and things have been going good, I've got a great group of guys that all work good together, and they all push each other in their motos. It's definitely been fun. Jessy (Nelson) knows the loops of Supercross, and so does Dean, and then I'm also working with Alex (Frye), and everything is still new for him. When I get some time at the end of the day I like to spend some time with them you know? Just getting down the basics for Supercross. He already knows how to ride a motorcycle so this is basically just getting down the basics and things that I can see that Jessy and them were doing and try to help him with that, and copy those things.
You've got a lot of experience in pre-season prep, and it has to be nice showing others how you can help the preparation for A1.
Yeah, this is the most important time of the season. It's the off-season and you know putting in a solid off-season is basically where you make your season. The guys have been doing a great job, they've all been working hard and looking forward to getting out to Anaheim and going racing. They've put in a lot of hard weeks here at the Supercross tracks, and physical training in the gym and the swimming pool. We've really been on it. They've all been working hard and we'll just see where we stand at Anaheim 1.
Have you been able to ride since retirement?
I haven't ridden yet, Supercross has been the priority. I've just been at the track with the guys, and then going home and checking their heart rates out and doing all that kind of stuff now, so I don't really have much time at the moment. Maybe once they go to outdoors I can get some riding in, but you know I obviously need to stay on them here at the Supercross track, and even at the outdoor track to make sure they're putting in the work and to make sure their lap times are looking good and see how they're feeling. Before, it was all about me, and now it's all about my guys. I want to see them winning and being upfront, so that's what I'm working hard for. At the end of the day we want to help these guys win championships.
Is there any one specific thing that is nice about retiring from racing?
I still do everything besides the riding, you know, but the riding is the hardest part. I'd been racing since I was 5, and I turned pro when I was 14, so I did 16 professional years as a racer. You know, it's fun, but at the same time you get mentally tired. I was mentally over it, I could have probably raced another year, another two years, but mentally I wasn't really going into the off season knowing that I had to put in that big workload for another season. That's where I mentally broke down a little, you could say. I've done what I want in the sport, I've accomplished more than I ever thought I would growing up. I've still got the weight now (mental), but it's a different situation because I've got to get my guys ready and get them ready to win Supercross races. So I've got that weight on my shoulders, but I believe 100% in my program and I know it's going to be a good season.