Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing News
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Keeps Streak Alive as Rattray and Pourcel Go 1-2 Again
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray and Christophe Pourcel went 1-2 for the second consecutive week but this time it was Rattray who claimed his first career AMA overall win at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Penn. The South African rider went 2-2 for the victory while Pourcel went 4-1 to finish second. Dean Wilson finished 5-6 for fifth overall and Jake Weimer went 7-11 to finish 10th. In the 450-class Nick Wey went 15-9 to finish 14th overall and Chad Reed finished 13-33 for 18th.
Rattray had been knocking on the door for his first overall win for a while, winning a moto at Steel City in 2009 and also taking a moto win last weekend in Freestone. This week, Rattray didn’t get a moto win, but two consistent races gave him his first overall title.
“It feels good to get my first overall win,” said Rattray. “I’ve been trying to get this for the last two years and I got moto wins, but to claim the overall is what I need to do. Consistency is the key to this championship so I’d rather go 1-1, but going 2-2 for the overall is still good.”
Pourcel continued to lead the 250-class championship on the strength of consistent top-five finishes. The French rider’s style seemed to fit every track he has raced on and he has won at least one moto at all three events this season.
“This is a very good track,” said Pourcel. “Everything was going good for me in the first moto until I went down. In the second moto I was able to stay up and race for the win. I extended my championship lead so I’m happy about that.”
Wilson put together two consistent motos on a difficult day at High Point Raceway. The weather wreaked havoc on both 250 motos causing the track to change dramatically throughout both races.
“This wasn’t the weekend I wanted,” said Wilson. “In the second moto, I got a good start and I was just behind Chris (Pourcel), following his lines when I cross rutted on a jump face and I’m not sure what happened but I went over the bars. It was a pretty rough weekend for me. I didn’t feel good in either moto.”
With three races complete, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is sitting pretty in the 250-class points standings. Pourcel leads the way with 129 points, with Rattray in second with 102 and Wilson sitting third with 100.
String of Luck
Reed’s day at High Point was a case of bad luck, with a rock in the first moto keeping him from moving up and contact in the second moto damaging his bike. In the first moto, Reed began charging forward when a rock popped his goggle lens out of place. With mud flying into his eyes, it was difficult for the Australian rider to get close behind anyone on the track. In the second moto contact in the first turn damaged Reed’s front brake caliper and a bolt eventually failed forcing him to retire for the day.
“It seems that when it rains, it pours,” said Reed. “In the first moto a rock hit my goggles and popped the lens out of place. So whenever I got behind somebody I couldn’t see. Then in the second moto, I made contact with someone in the first turn and that damaged my front brake. When it failed, I had to pull off. I really like Budds Creek, so I’ll be ready to get back on the podium next weekend.”
Mother Nature played a fickle game at High Point as rain and sunshine alternated throughout the afternoon. The rain started midway through the first 450 moto and stopped early in the first 250 moto. With the sun shining brightly the track improved tremendously and stayed good throughout the second 450 moto. The rain started again with two laps to go in the second 250 moto, but it couldn’t dampen Rattray’s celebration on the podium.
“The first moto was difficult with the rain at the start,” said Rattray. “Once it stopped raining the track started to improve. Every lap was different, but by the end of the moto the track was really good.”
Weimer has had a difficult start to the outdoor season as his results don’t reflect his riding through the first three rounds. After going down in the first turn of the second moto, Weimer passed 21 riders to finish 11th.
“I think I rode pretty well today,” said Weimer. “I went down in the first turn of the second moto and had to work hard to get up to the front. I’m not getting the results I want right now, but we’re going to Budds Creek next week and that is one of my favorite tracks so hopefully I can turn it around.”
With Rattray hailing from South Africa, his attention is divided between motocross and his home country’s big event, the World Cup. Rattray knows how big the event is, and he is hoping his country can advance to the next round.
“It’s fun to watch and root for my home country, especially since they are playing in South Africa,” said Rattray. “When we race at the Motocross of Nations it is similar, but nothing compares to the World Cup. I wish I was at home so I could go to some of the matches in Durbin.”
Wey faced some difficult conditions when the rains came in the first moto. He was working his way forward when his goggles fogged up and he had to take them off. With sunshine dominating the second moto, the Michigan native was able to move up and score his first top-10 moto finish of the year.
“I had a hard time in the first moto,” said Wey. “I lost my goggles and went off the track a couple of times. In the second moto I passed like six guys to get up to eighth. That was my best moto finish and it was also the best I’ve ridden, so I’m looking forward to the next race.”