Rattray and Searle 1-2 in MX2 at Valence2008-02-24 05:52
KTM Red Bull factory riders Tyla Rattray and Tommy Searle were sharp and successful on Sunday at the pre-season MX meeting in Valence, France finishing 1-2 in the MX2 class of this combined event.
Combination MX1 and MX2
With riders in both MX1 and MX2 competing in three heats it was tough going in the hard and stony circuit, but all four KTM factory riders treated it as a good warm-up event before the serious world championship GPs begin. Max Nagl, KTM's MX 1 rider for the 2008 season finished fourth in his division.
Rattray improves speed
I felt very good in all three races," the South African Rattray said. "It was a good preparation for the season. I was faster than in Mantova so my speed is improving and I am really going to be ready and in good form when the season starts. It is naturally pretty tough with MX1 and MX2 riding together and the track was very stony and a bit dangerous. I did not want to take any risks."
Tyla said it was very good to have KTM's team boss Stefan Everts around the track. Everts, himself 10-times world champion was able to show his riders the good lines on the track where he won himself in 2006.
Good training, Searle says
Tommy Searle, fresh from winter training in the USA where he will ride in the 2009 season said he viewed the event as good training for the coming season, even if admitting the course was not his favourite. "It is very stony but I took it as a practice," he said. "I did not have a good start in the first race. The second was quite good but then I had a crash and the third race of the day was my best and I finished overall fifth. The most important thing today was to ride safe and see it as good training," he said.
Goncalves will work on improvements
Rui Goncalves, the third rider in the KTM MX2 factory line-up finished fifth in MX2 and admitted it had not been his best weekend. "I tried my best but I struggled with the track. For me the most important thing was not to take risks or to get injured but that was no excuse as this weekend was not my best. Now I plan to work hard on improving some details of my riding so I am in good shape for the start of the season."
Nagl finishes fourth
Max Nagl, while narrowly missing the podium in fourth place said it had been good pre-season warm-up. In race one he was second behind Josh Coppins after the start and finished in third place. "I got a better start in race two but I seemed to have too much traction. Then I took the holeshot in the third race but I got pushed into the tyre barrier by one of the other guys on the first downhill and I lost quite a few places. I got back into the race and pushed hard and finished in fourth. My goal for the weekend was top five so finishing in fourth place was good for me."
The race weekend was rain free for the first time in years, even if there was a stiff wind blowing on Sunday. The KTM factory riders will now travel to the UK for the one day event at Hawkstone Park in the UK next weekend.
MX 1 Overall
1. Josh Coppins, Yamaha, 75 points
2. Sebastien Pourcel, Kawasaki 64
3. Steve Ramon Suzuki, 60
4. Max Nagl KTM 53
5. Ken De Dyker, Suzuki, 44 points
1. Tyla Rattray, KTM 38 points
2. Tommy Searle, KTM 33
3. Stephen Sword, Kawasaki 13
4. Anthony Boissiere, KTM 10
5. Rui Goncalves, KTM 9
Source: KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG
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