Tyla Rattray on Sunday became the worthy MX2 World Champion, confirming the title with a second place in the first moto at Faenza the last GP of the season.
Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM Sportsmotorcycle AG was at the finish line to congratulate the freshly crowned world champion from South Africa saying: â€œWe believed in Tyla and he finally did it. Heâ€™s a great guy!â€ Rattray has come close to taking the title before but has been dogged by injuries, including one that took him out of contention in the final stages of the season that required major knee construction surgery.
Red Bull KTM Team boss Stefan Everts, himself a multi-world champion, was also delighted. â€œIt is a different emotion than winning yourself. I am very happy for the whole team. It was a tough fight but we had a strong team and this is going to give Tyla a lot of confidence going into MX next season.â€Â Everts said he was making it his goal for the team to go for both the MX1 and MX2 titles in 2009.
Best day, Tyla says
â€œI was a bit stressed in the first moto but I was more relaxed I the second,â€ the new world champion said. â€œI did have some problems with the suspension in the second race and I didnâ€™t want to push too much but at the same time Tommy was very fast today. For me this is the best day and a dream come true.â€ He promised to be back strong and competitive for his first year riding for Red Bull KTM in MX1 in 2009.
Searle says 2008 aÂ learning year
Double win fTommy also confirmed his second place in the championship, giving him a real boost looking ahead to his next season racing for KTM in the USA then went on to double his luck to take the final GP with a maximum of 50 points. â€œI did my best today and although there was a big gap I never gave up hope of winning the title. I have learnt a lot in the last year. My best GP was in France but the second half of the season was quite difficult. I made a few mistakes but that is part of learning and I will take that experience with me when I go to race in the States.â€
Clean sweep in last GP for KTM
The final GP in Italy was a superb finale for the entire KTM team. Not only 1-2 in the overall championship but also 1-2-3 in the GP itself. Searle rode a near perfect second race. Rattray, still high on adrenalin from sealing the title in race one cruised to fourth for second overall and young Joel Roelants of the KTM-supported GP Juniors Team Champ finished third after leading the final race for the first half. The young Belgian rider was delighted with his first podium and said he was happy to have the chance to prove he could ride on surfaces other than the sandy tracks he is used to in Belgium.
Fifth overall for Goncalves at close of season
The third rider in the KTM trio, Rui Goncalves picked up points in the second but not the first race and closed out his season in fifth place overall behind Shaun Simpson of KTM UK, who will be his teammate at Red Bull KTM MX2 next season. He will now undergo knee surgery for ligament damage that he sustained in South Africa.â€ I will try to have a good preparation for next season because I want to be strong and go for the title,â€ he said. â€œThis would be the best way to pay the team back for having confidence in me.â€
To round off a weekend packed with success, the Austrian manufacturer also took the MX2 manufacturerâ€™s trophy.