South Africa, and especially KwaZulu-Natal, seems to be breeding motocross champions after yet another KZN rider, who already has a World championship title to his name, was chosen for the Husqvarna factory racing team.
Husqvarna, now based in Austria after the January 2013 take-over by Pierer Industrie, has announced its intention to be a major player in the 2014 World Motocross series with a full factory team in both MX1 and MX2 classes.
Rattray and Australian Todd Waters will wear the Husqvarna colours in the MX1 class, while in the MX2 class Romain Febvre of France and Alexandr Tonkov of Russia will represent the new team.
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 United States, and ended the 2011 season as runner-up in the AMA 250 MX class.
INTERNATIONAL DEBUT AT 15
Now 28, he first relocated from South Africa to Germany in 2000 to compete internationally and qualified for his first GP races in 2001 when he was only 15.
Five years ago he became only the third South African to win a Motocross World championship when he became the MX2 title-holder at the Italian Grand Prix in September 2008.
Two decades ago Greg Albertyn from Johannesburg became South Africa's first Motocross World champion when he took the 125cc crown in 1992. Albertyn later won two 250cc World championships - in 1993 and 1994 - before relocating to the US. Durban-born Grant Langston won the 125cc championship in 2000, before also moving to the US to compete from 2003 to 2007.
At that time Rattray was relatively unknown in international motocross circles.
He joined Gareth Swanepoel on the international circuit, and the two of them made waves until Rattray finally picked up a ride with the KTM factory team, where he won South Africa's fifth World title in the MX2 class in 2008.
Husqvarna SA general manager Fred Fensham said: "This is the most awesome news for both Husqvarna as a brand and us in South Africa.
"The significance of having a former title-holder on the Husky is already huge; to have a South African World champion - the words escape me," said an excited Fensham. - Daily News Motoring