Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing News
Rattray Celebrates Big Day with Southwick Win
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray had a big day on Saturday as his first child was born early in the morning and he earned his second overall win of the season in the late afternoon. Rattray finished 2-2 for the win at Moto X – 338 in Southwick, Mass, while his teammate and current 250 class points leader Christophe Pourcel finished fifth overall with moto finishes of 7-3. Dean Wilson was sixth after going 5-4. In the 450 class, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Nick Wey finished sixth overall and in the WMX class Sara Price finished fourth overall.
Rattray did his best to be present for the birth of his daughter, but duty called so he traveled to Southwick and showed everyone the sand was no match for the South African. In the first moto, Rattray started eighth and worked his way to second while the second moto was nearly identical as he started fifth and then moved to second pressuring the leader all the way to the checkered flag.
“I’ve been looking forward to Southwick all summer,” said Rattray. “This is a great track and I really like the challenge of the sand. It was a difficult day, with my daughter being born in California with me 3000 miles away. I wish I could have been there but getting the win on her true birthday is very special.”
Pourcel leaves Southwick with a 13-point advantage in the season standings after salvaging a fifth-place overall finish. The French rider rebounded from a tough first moto to finish third in the second moto.
“After the first moto, I knew I had to get as many points as I could in the second,” said Pourcel. “With only four motos left this season, each one is important. There is less pressure having the points lead.”
On the Edge
Wey rode two solid motos to earn sixth-place overall at Southwick. Getting ready for the race is tough for the riders living in California because there is no other track like it.
“I needed to get better starts,” said Wey. “I’ve been working a lot with the team and we are starting to see some results. This track is unique. Not just because of the sand, but also because it is tight in some spots so it is important to carry momentum throughout.”
Wilson had a tough day on the track at Southwick as he fought hard for both his moto finishes.
“My first race at Southwick was tough,” said Wilson. “I fought through the pack in the first moto and got clipped at the checkered flag to finish fifth. In the second moto, (Trey) Canard cleaned me out when I was running fourth and I had to fight just to get back up there. I finished fourth in the moto but the day could have been a lot better.”
Price not only battled the rough track at Southwick, but also illness that has sidelined her since her bronze-medal performance at the X Games. Price persevered to finish fourth overall despite all the challenges.
“The first moto went pretty good for me,” said Price. “I was running third most of the moto and I felt pretty good. In the second moto, (Tarah) Geiger and I got together on the start, so I had to let off and I fell back. Southwick is a tough track, but I really like the sand. It zaps your energy, but it is fun and so different from anything we ride in California.”
Wey knows what to expect from Southwick but he also knows you have to prepare for this special race.
“I changed up my training a little getting ready for Southwick,” said Wey. “I concentrated more on my speed during the week, and I also watched some youtube videos of John Dowd riding the track. He is great here and any little thing I could learn was going to help.”
Wilson learned a lot in his debut at Southwick. For the 18-year-old rookie, the notoriously tough sand track lived up to its legendary reputation.
“The track is gnarly, it is so rough I would call it insane,” said Wilson. “It helps a lot when you are out front and you can concentrate on your race and not everyone around you. When you’re behind someone, you get covered by sand. It goes everywhere, you mouth, your eyes it is crazy. This was definitely the toughest track I’ve ever ridden.”
Leaving on a Jet Plane
Rattray didn’t waste any time after the race as he finished his podium duties and went straight to the airport smelling like his victory champagne to catch the earliest flight home so he could see his first born as soon as possible.