Tyla Rattray is not given to harboring illusions about any particular challenge facing him. He has made a career of climbing the proverbial steep mountains, and when he entered 2011 ready for his first stab at the AMA Supercross series, he was fully aware of the difficulties ahead. Someone once described luck as the moment when preparation meets opportunity, and the South African was certainly superbly prepared when the opportunity to prove his mettle rolled along. This much was evident during the first round of the series, when he rode to a debut podium.
Matters took a slightly downhill turn after that, however. Tyla was solid again in the second round of the series, but it was not widely known outside of his immediate circle that he was riding with a cracked bone in his hand. At the third round of the series, he came desperately close to total disaster when another rider landed on him, rendering his leg a shade of blue normally associated with looming storm clouds at dusk. The pain and discomfort were too much for even his enhanced powers of endurance, and this conspired to keep him to a rather pedestrian 14th position in the race, dropping him all the way down to sixth in the championship standings.
Tyla’s leg was still as tender as a minute steak battered with a four pound hammer as the supercross circus rolled up in Oakland, San Francisco, for round four of the series, but it was already considerably better than it had been the week before, shortly after the mid-air mishap. Fortunately, the incident had done nothing to quell the enthusiasm of his throttle hand, and he was back to his old ways. He qualified in seventh position, but this only tells half the story. The competitive nature of the class is evidenced by the fact that there wa only 3/10th’s of a second separating the third fastest rider from the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki – mounted South Africanin seventh.
Tyla had had to qualify out of the last chance qualifier before during the season, and was not keen to repeat the experience. He got a good start in his qualifying heat, and once the race had settled into its rhythm, he kept matters steady to qualify in fourth position. A toublesome deluge just before the start of the final heat produced a scurry of mechanics getting proper goggles ready, and turned the track more slippery than a politician facing a corruption probe. Tyla started well inside the top 10, and soon homed in on German wunderkind Ken Roczen, who had enthralled American crowds with performances not normally associated with a 16 year old. He latched onto Roczen, but a mistake in the whoops allowed the German to pull clear, and Tyla crossed the line in fifth position, a solid performance under the circumstances.
Although Tyla is still lurking in sixth position in the championship standings, he had managed to make up some of the backlog, and is poised and ready to move up the ladder again as the series moves back to Anaheim for the second time this year.
THE AMA SERIES ORGANIZERS ARE GREAT AT PROVIDING COLOUR CODED BACKGROUNDS. PIC – Frank Hoppen
Supercross Lites Class Western Regional Results: Oakland
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki
- Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
- Ken Roczen, Mattstedt, Germany, KTM
- Rattray, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki
- Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
- Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha
- Jimmy DeCotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda
- Bruce Rutherford, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
- Ryan Marmont, Woonona, Australia, KTM
Supercross Lites Class Western Regional Season Standings
- Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki Ã¢Â€Â“ 88
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki Ã¢Â€Â“ 87
- Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki Ã¢Â€Â“ 70
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda Ã¢Â€Â“ 69
- Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda Ã¢Â€Â“ 60
- Tyla Rattray, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki Ã¢Â€Â“ 58
- Ken Roczen, Mattstedt, Germany, KTM Ã¢Â€Â“ 49
- Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki Ã¢Â€Â“ 45
- Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha Ã¢Â€Â“ 44
- Jimmy DeCotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda Ã¢Â€Â“ 40