Tyla Rattray may have taken the overall, but the South African couldn’t stop DNA Shred Stix Yamaha’s Gareth Swanepoel from ending Kawasaki’s perfect record this season.
Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray pulled off his fourth overall win this season in rainy conditions at Southwick. In doing so the South African has moved back into second in the 250 Motocross Championship. Meanwhile Rattray’s Kawasaki teammate, Dean Wilson, scored second overall during Round 10 as the Scotsman bumped his lead in the series up to 38 with just two rounds left. One of the major developments coming out of Southwick’s chaos was DNA Shred Stix Yamaha’s Gareth Swanepoel capturing his first ever pro race win. Not only is this the first win for the South African and his team, but the victory also marks the end of PC Kawasaki’s season-long winning streak.
For the second week in a row Swanepoel claimed the holeshot in the first 250 moto ahead of Geico Honda’s Jimmy DeCotis, who immediately took a hard digger after the first turn. Meanwhile Moto Innovations’ Lance Vincent, Rattray, Shawn Rife, Wilson, DNA Shed Stix Yamaha’s Gannon Audette, Suzuki’s City’s Malcolm Stewart, Star Racing Yamaha’s Kyle Cunningham, Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Jason Anderson and Martin Davalos rounded out the top-10. Only a lap in Cunningham had his first of two crashes as rain continued pummeling the Southwick circuit. Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett had a horrible start outside the top-20 along with teammate Broc Tickle and Geico Honda’s Justin Bogle. Toward the front Wilson made a pass on Rife to move into the top-three, but most of the attention was on Rattray as the South African caught-up to his fellow countryman to make the pass for the lead.
Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson failed to win a moto at Southwick but managed to increase his lead in the series.
Following Honda’s difficulty in the first 450 moto, the brand also struggled in the 250s with Eli Tomac and Cole Seely getting poor starts near the back of the field. Behind Swanepoel and Rattray, Wilson charged ahead of Vincent for third as Audette moved up to the top-five. Baggett was making a lot of ground in the first half of the contest as he advanced into the top-10, but his progress soon came to a halt. As Rattray led the race he stalled the engine rounding a turn, giving Swanepoel just the advantage he needed to snatch the lead back. In the end Swanepoel scored a momentous victory for him and his team, while defeating Kawasaki’s in its quest of being undefeated in 2011. Rattray and Wilson rounded out the top-three as all foreign riders stood on the podium.
The second race started with Eleven10 Mods’ Alex Martin nabbing the holeshot ahead of Rattray,Wilson, DeCotis and Swanepoel. Once again Honda struggled to get a good start as Tomac and Seely both crashed in the opening lap along with Tickle and Audette. Up front Martin was opening a lead early on while Baggett found himself mid-pack once again. This time Bogle managed a decent start and quickly made a pass on Ryan Sipes to move into seventh with KTM’s Marvin Musquin just behind. It didn’t take long for Rattray to take the lead away from Martin while Swanepoel ruined his opportunity of taking the overall by crashing in fifth. Once in the lead, Rattray started pulling away and created a tremendous advantage.
Rattray sealed his victory more than 22 seconds ahead of Wilson, who was lucky to even finish the race as smoke poured from his engine. Martin achieved a major milestone by landing the first podium for his team in third as Bogle challenged Martin in the final lap of the race but had to settle with fourth. For the second round in a row the overall podium included a non-Kawasaki rider, this time Swanepoel earning third ahead of Martin. Meanwhile Baggett finished the day in fifth as he continues to be inconsistent with his speed.
250 Motocross Southwick Results:
1. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki) 2-1
2. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki) 3-2
3. Gareth Swanepoel (Yamaha) 1-5
4. Alex Martin (Honda) 10-3
5. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 9-6
6. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 7-8
7. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki) 5-12
8. Gannon Audette (Yamaha) 4-16
9. Justin Bogle (Honda) 18-4
10. Darryn Durham (Honda) 8-13
11. Malcolm Stewart (Suzuki) 11-11
12. Lance Vincent (Honda) 13-10
13. Tyler Medaglia (Yamaha) 12-15
14. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha) 6-35
15. Jason Anderson (Suzuki) 35-7
250 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Dean Wilson, 438
2. Tyla Rattray, 400
3. Blake Baggett, 398
4. Kyle Cunningham, 264
5. Eli Tomac, 246
6. Gareth Swanepoel, 241
7. Broc Tickle, 220
8. Justin Barcia, 181
9. Martin Davalos, 175
10. Alex Martin, 170