Tyla Rattray raced to ninth place for the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team in the Czech round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at the tricky Loket track in the north-west of the country.
The South African never settled during practice and qualification on the slippery surface to earn 14th choice of gate, and his difficulties continued during the opening moto as he persevered to finish 12th. Rider and team worked hard on suspension settings between the GP motos and the positive result was evident as Tyla pushed forward from an initial 10th place to cross the finishing line eighth – earning ninth place overall on the day. Tyla is now 14th in the series standings, but is only eight points shy of 12th place and heads confidently to the next round in Belgium now that he is no longer suffering from the back pains which afflicted him in recent weeks.
Coming to Loket with some testing days with the team before this event, Steven Frossard posted a strong third position during the free practice session. The Frenchman was back to his real speed, but unfortunately was forced to renounce after a few laps of the qualifying session, as he felt intense pain in his knee due to a little piece of his meniscus. Steven will undergo minor surgery this week, and is expected to be back racing for the next GP in Lommel.
“It was a difficult weekend. The track had no grip but that has always been like this here in Loket,” said Tyla Rattray. “It’s a hard base and I struggled in the first race with my suspension. We worked on it and I felt good for the second moto to finish eighth so we end the weekend on a positive note, even if it’s not really my favourite track. We’ve got five more races to go, and my back is not painful any more so we’ll work to be ready for Lommel, which is another really heavy track. You never know what to expect there. You need to have a good rhythm and be physically fit; my main goal will be to be top seven or eight in both races, and of course we know that the start will also be important there.”