Catching up with Townley

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds


I caught up with Ben Townley shortly after he announced that he would be racing in Australia full time for 2012 as part of the Carlton Dry, Thor Honda Racing team. After a few rough years with some major injuries along the way Townley is looking to get a solid season of racing under his belt while at the same time being able to base himself out of his home country of New Zealand.

The deal he has signed with Yarrive Konsky's outfit will allow Townley the opportunity he was looking for, racing both the Australian Motocross and Supercross season while spending the time between the races back in New Zealand where he will train and prepare for each race.

This deal has been a long time in the making and there were other offers along the way, below we have a quick chat to find out why he chose to come to Australia to race, why he chose to ride Honda and what his thoughts are on the Australian race scene and riders.

Fullnoise : You have just signed a deal to race with the Carlton Dry, Thor Honda racing team for 2012 how did the deal to come to Australia to race eventuate.

Townley: This Deal has been a long time coming, I wanted to race in America but this year has been a bit of a write off. After some of the injuries and issues I had, I really wanted to take my time getting back, I tried racing but that still didn’t work so I took even more time off.

I went home to New Zealand and worked with some people both mentally and physically to get back into the position I wanted to be in. I headed over to race the Monster Energy Cup in Vegas to see where I was at and that race went really well. I started to talk to some people over there, and we started to have discussions and things were looking good, but in the end they didn’t transpire.

During that time while I was talking to teams in America , I had also been in Contact with Yarrive and quite a few of the other teams in Australia, at the end of the day a few of the teams were not interested and a few of them were, Yarrive was one of the team manager that was interested and the deal all come together well.

One of the biggest things for me making the decision was that Yarrive had to make some vital changes that I wanted made and he is going to do that for 2012 and that was something that was key in the deal coming together, he made those changes that I believed needed to be changed.

At the end of the day I want to win, he wants to win, the team has not been winning, and I think going into next year with the changes we can do it.

Fullnoise : How many teams in America were you talking to and how close were you to signing with any of those teams?

Townley: I spoke to a few different teams, something that I have said all along was that I want to be with a team and a structure that I know can get the job done. I was speaking to Jeff Ward for a long time and we could just not make it happen, he told me that last week.

Yarrive at the same time had everything sitting over here in Australia ready to go and we finalised this deal after Ward said the ride for his team couldn’t happen.

Fullnoise : 2012 will mark the first time you will race a full season in Australia, how much do you know about the Australian series and how much of your decision was based on being able to race closer to your home in New Zealand.

Townley: One of the biggest things for me coming to race in Australia is I will get to live in my own home in New Zealand full time, I have obviously had bases and houses around the world while I have been racing, but I have pretty much been on the road and away from New Zealand for a long time, being able to move home was one of the big factors of where I would ride if I didn’t get something in America, the bonus of being able to live at home is huge.

As for the racing in Australia, I had never been to a SuperX round apart from the one I raced in New Zealand where I crashed last year, I have only been here a few hours and to come here and see the size and the profile of the sport, It has really grown a lot, Professionally and the structure of the entire sport has really lifted.

I am realistic that it is not Europe or America, but if you look at the size of the population with in New Zealand and Australia, the sport has come a long long way.

Fullnoise : How do you see the competition in Australia next year, there are some fast riders in Australia and depth in the Pro Open class next year is looking really strong, do you see there being some tough competition in 2012 ?

Townley: The competition over here will definitely be tough and can’t be underestimated, one of the biggest things you have to keep in the back of your mind and it is a massive factor, is over here it is not two long moto’s , then in Supercross the races are even more hectic, It really throws the cards out there for everyone. I have seen it in both series.

I have followed the racing over here quite closely being at home back in New Zealand and also with Josh (Coppins) involved and Cody (Cooper); you can’t underestimate the racing one bit. I don’t doubt my speed what so ever, the one thing I have always found is when you race competitors in their own country they always stand five feet above where they usually stand.

When I have raced English guys in England they absolutely fly and I don’t expect it to be any different here in Australia. Jay Marmont has already proved that with Billy Mackenzie being here for two years and Josh being here as well last year. Brad Anderson will be here next season and he is no slouch either.

Fullnoise : With the different formats and generally shorter races and mulit race formats we have here in Australia do you see yourself changing the way you train and prepare for racing in 2012?

Townley: Not really, I think I will use a similar approach to my racing, I think a lot of the races I will do in New Zealand will be a good build up for the racing in Australia next year, I have six or seven events in New Zealand which will be a good build up. I really do not think I will have a problem with the speed factor, it has never been an issue for me at all, I just need to make sure I am fully ready to go racing that is all.

Fullnoise : Will you be racing full time in Australia next year including both the MX Nationals and SuperX series?

Townley: I will be full time over here next year, if not I am not racing I would just be sitting at home twiddling my thumbs, I have not done that in America for the past few seasons based on the fact that I didn’t want to be over there for eleven months of the year.

You have to have a lot of respect for the guys at the top of the sport in America, the guys who are competing for two championships over two different disciplines, it is a massive effort it really is huge, then you see someone like Chad who had a massive get off and be able to keep going through a season like that, it is a gnarly sport.

I see the Australian series as a scaled back version of this is and that is something that really interested me a lot.

Fullnoise : Last of all do you still have plans to head back to America or Europe in 2013, you have signed a one year deal over here are there any longer term plans?

Townley: At this stage I really am not making too many plans ahead of 2012, I would like to go back and race internationally again, but we will have to wait and see how 2012 goes and make sure like I said earlier, I want to be in a structure where I can achieve what I can expect to achieve, we will have to wait and see if that happens. For now I am coming here to do this job.

Fullnoise : Thanks for your time Ben and good luck for next year.

Townley: Thanks.

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