On Friday rumors began to surface that Ben Townley was close to signing a deal to serve as Chad Reed's replacement rider on the TwoTwo Motorsports Bel-Ray Racing Honda team. Now it's official. Look for more info soon, the official PR is below:
Ben Townley to contest AMA Pro Motocross Championship with TwoTwo Motorsports
TwoTwo Motorsports is pleased to announce the signing of former world champion and multiple AMA race winner Ben Townley to contest its 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship campaign.
With team owner and rider Chad Reed sidelined as he recovers from his AMA Supercross injury, the team sought a rider that could race competitively at the head of the 450 class while assisting in the ongoing development of the Honda CRF450 motorcycle.
“Prior to the Supercross season I had been speaking to Ben about racing competitively in the US again, and we’d spoken about the possibility of running a bike built by Mitch Payton from our truck for selected rounds.
“After the injury, surgery and the initial realisation that I would be sidelined from competition for some time, I needed to consider the team’s ongoing development and if there was a rider that could step in and be competitive in the role,” said Reed.
“We believe in Ben's talent and work ethic, and combined with the great crew we have at TwoTwo Motorsports, I feel we have the formula to not only represent our sponsors but also challenge, win races and compete for the number 1 plate.
“I'm excited and I know the whole team is looking forward to getting back racing and supporting Ben.
The decision was made in consultation with various parties and sponsors, with Reed remaining committed to providing the most value possible to those that have supported his newly-established team.
“Our core sponsors - Bel-Ray, Honda Motorcycles, Shift, Etnies, Skullcandy and Fox - have stood behind us from the beginning and have been a big part of our success on and off track,” Reed continued.
“We’re not just going racing to have a presence at the events, we strongly believe Ben is a rider that can challenge for race wins and we will give Ben every opportunity at success and getting the Honda on the podium.
“He will have the same factory support that I did and we will begin testing in the coming weeks to ensure he is comfortable and prepared for the series.
“I would like to thank Honda Australia’s Tony Hinton and Yarrive Konsky for allowing Ben to pursue this opportunity.”
Townley looks forward to maximising the opportunity with TwoTwo Motorsports.
“I’m really looking forward to racing the AMA Motocross Championship with TwoTwo Motorsports,” said Townley.
“It’s an incredible opportunity and one I will be grabbing with both hands.
“I can’t wait to work with the team to race and further develop the bike throughout the season.
“I also need to thank the Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing team for supporting me with this opportunity,” Townley added.
The twelve-round Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship begins at Hangtown in Sacramento on May 19.
Chad Reed and TwoTwo Motorsports are proudly supported by Bel-Ray, Honda Motorcycles, Shift, Etnies, Skullcandy, Fox, Pro Circuit, Factory Effex, Specialized, Showa, Dunlop, Renthal, America's Tire.com, Discount Tire.com, DT1 Airfilters, D.I.D, Hinson Clutches, VP Race Fuels, Matrix, JStar Motors, Dubya and Mechanixwear.