Husqvarna has announced its intention to be a major player in the 2014 FIM World Motocross Championship series with a full factory team for both MX1 and MX2 classes and signed South African born Tyla Rattray to help do the job.
In the MX1 class it will be Tyla Rattray and Australian Todd Waters who will wear the Husqvarna colours.
Rattray, who won the MX2 World Championship with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team, has spent recent seasons competing in the AMA SX and MX competitions in the US, and ended the 2011 season as runner-up in the AMA 250 MX class. The young Rattray – now 28 – first relocated from South Africa to Germany in 2000 to compete internationally and qualified for his first GP races in 2001 at the age of just 15.
Five years ago he became only the third South African to win a FIM Motocross World Championship when he became the MX2 World Champion at the Italian Grand Prix in September 2008.
Two decades ago Greg Albertyn became South Africa’s first motocross world champion when he won the 125 Championship in 1992. Albertyn later won two 250 World Championships – in 1993 and 1994 – before relocating to the USA.
“This is awesome news for both Husqvarna as a brand and us in South Africa,” said Fred Fensham, Husqvarna South Africa’s general manager.
“The significance of having a past world champion on the Husky is already awesome; to have a South African world champ… the words escape me.” said an excited Fensham.
Waters, who will join Rattray in the MX1 line-up for Husqvarna, is currently racing for the Motorex KTM Racing Team in Australia. He has overcome injury in the current season to be in second position in the 2013 National Championship after nine of ten rounds.
Finnish Motocross legend Antti Pyrhönen, presently of F1’s Kimi Räikkönen Ice One Racing, is to manage the Red Bull Ice One Husqvarna Factory Racing MX1 team and brings with him a wealth of first hand experience in Motocross and personal association with the Husqvarna brand.
“Ice One Racing is pleased to welcome Tyla Rattray and Todd Waters, both from outside Europe, to the World Championship series,” said Räikkönen.
“The new Red Bull Ice One Husqvarna factory team is aiming for the top. We believe it can be reached by our dedication to the sport, and by the commitment of our riders and their determined will to win.”