A DAY WITH TYLA RATTRAY
VIEWED BY MANY AS THE "SLEEPER" OF THE 450CC
CLASS, TYLA RATTRAY SHOWED UP AT THE HANGTOWN
NATIONAL READY, WILLING AND ABLE TO MAKE A RUN
AT THE 2013 NATIONAL MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
BY ERIC JOHNSON
PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE COX AND KIT PALMER
t precisely High Noon on Saturday, May 19, 2013, an
American Motorcyclist Association ofﬁcial pulled the lever of an air horn, its compressed air passing through
a diaphragm and sending a loud shrill into the air, the piercing
sound's wavelengths getting everyone's attention in the Prairie
City OHV Park pit area.
It was time to go racing.
Forty mechanics immediately reached for their motorcycles
and pulled them off their respective stands. One of those mechanics was Wayne Lumgair, longtime spanner man for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racer Tyla Rattray. Rattray,
meanwhile, dressed in his racing gear, was sitting in a chair,
looking off into nowhere with a 1000-yard stare. Soon, recently
christened AMA Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto, with his
mechanic Mike Williamson on the back of the bike, came riding
by Mitch Payton's new Monster Energy/Pro Circuit 18-wheeler
that houses the Enzo Ferrari of Motocross' new 450 team.
"TYLA!" screamed Villopoto to his friend Rattray, who quickly snapped out of the "zone" he was in, looked up and smirked.
The South African then got to his feet, grabbed his helmet and
an umbrella to beat back the impossibly bright California sunlight and began walking down towards the starting gate, which
when clanked into the soft dirt would launch the 45th Annual
Hangtown Motocross Classic – the longest running National in
U.S. motocross history.
Though he was
hoping for better,
Tyla Rattray went
9-9 in the 450cc
class at the