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Ben Townley Off to a Tough Start in Glen Helen

The first round of the AMA Motocross nationals has seen a difficult start to Ben Townley’s  much anticipated return to racing.   The 23-year-old Kiwi who is based in Tallahassee, Florida had to overcome a  banged angle in the morning  qualification session only to have a possible podium finish snatched in the final moto then his machine gave up on him.

photo: Frank Hoppen

After grabbing a good start in moto 1 aboard his factory Red Bull Honda,  BT was positioned in fourth on the opening lap.  He was then  passed by fellow Honda team-mate Davi Millsaps while trying to settle into his race rhythm.  Five laps later the Kiwi retaliated and moved back into fourth, then setting his sights on Tim Ferry who was holding a podium spot.  Townley gradually reeled in the Floridian and tried to go up the inside of Ferry just after the infamous Glen Helen sand section, but went down in the process.   He quickly rejoined the race after losing a few positions and came back to claim 6th spot.

In Moto 2, Townley took advantage of an aggressive first corner to position himself in fourth as he had done in the first moto.   He quickly settled down and focused on catching Millsaps which he succeeded in doing on lap 3.  As Townley was poised to make a move on his team-mate disbelief overcame the crowd when they saw the number 101 forced to the side of the circuit with a technical problem - The Kiwi’s race was over.

“It’s awesome to be back at the races especially as it’s my first race for the Red Bull Honda Team.  Saturday went well and I was able to shake off all the old cobwebs and I got back into the rhythm of being at the races again.  Today was a little bit different though -  I was going through a turn during qualifying when my foot hit a boulder on the inside of the turn  and smashed my heel and ankle. At first I thought the injury was much worse but I still made it to the first moto after icing the foot. I was pleased with my riding under the circumstances and was happy to be in a race situation again.  The second moto was cut short with a bike problem but I was feeling confident for a podium spot at that stage.”  explained Townley.

Townley has more testing planned with the Red Bull Honda team in California before he heads to round two at the ‘Hangtown Classic’ near Sacramento next weekend.

www.bentownleymx.com

Race results:

 

Moto 1

1        James M. Stewart     Kawasaki KX450F

2        Mike A. Alessi Suzuki RM-Z450

3        David D. Millsaps       Honda CRF450R

4        Timmy M. Ferry        Kawasaki KX450F

5        Andrew T. Short       Honda CRF450R

6          Ben Townley Honda CRF450R

7        Ivan Tedesco Honda CRF450R

8        Sean D. Hamblin       Yamaha YZ450F

9        Michael Byrne Suzuki RM-Z450

10      Nicholas A. Wey       KTM 450SX

11      Steve Boniface         Honda CRF450R

12      Antonio Balbi  Honda CRF450R

13      Jeff Alessi      Honda CRF450R

14      Cody Cooper  Suzuki RM-Z450

15      Bobby B. Bonds        Kawasaki KX450F

 

Moto 2

1        James M. Stewart     Kawasaki KX450F

2        Mike A. Alessi Suzuki RM-Z450

3        David D. Millsaps       Honda CRF450R

4        Timmy M. Ferry        Kawasaki KX450F

5        Ivan Tedesco Honda CRF450R

6        Cody Cooper  Suzuki RM-Z450

7        Michael Byrne Suzuki RM-Z450

8        Sean D. Hamblin       Yamaha YZ450F

9        Jeff Alessi      Honda CRF450R

10      Nicholas A. Wey       KTM 450SX

11      Antonio Balbi  Honda CRF450R

12      Steve Boniface         Honda CRF450R

13      Jarred Jet Browne     Suzuki RM-Z450

14      Charles J. Summey    Yamaha YZ450F

15      Joshua R. Hill  Yamaha YZ450F

32        Ben Townley Honda CRF450R

 

Points standings:

1        50      J. Stewart                                                                                  

2        44      M. Alessi                                                                              

3        40      D. Millsaps                                                                            
4        36      T. Ferry                                                                               
5        30      I. Tedesco                                                                                  
6        26      M. Byrne                                                                    
7        26      S. Hamblin                                                                                  

8        22      C. Cooper                                                                            
9        22      N. Wey                                                                                
10      20      J. Alessi                                                                                      
11      19      A. Balbi                                                                                      
12      19      S. Boniface                                                                          
13      16      A. Short                                                                              
14        15        B. Townley                                                                         
15      10      B. Bonds

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