Motocross

Tough But Positive start to the season for Ben Townley

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The Grand Prix of Qatar was a testing launch to the 2016 FIM Motocross World Championship for Team Suzuki World MXGP's Ben Townley, but ultimately a positive learning experience for Former World MX2 Champ..

The illuminated and nocturnal setting of Losail opened MXGP for the fourth year in a row and with a jumpy and hard-packed terrain barely altered from the previous editions of this impressive and slick event, the surface mixed ruts, holes and deceptively-slippery areas with dirt that offered plenty of grip.

Townley flinched too early and nudged the gate. Starting last in the first moto, the New Zealander actually found his way through to the top-10 on the first lap and crossed the line in 11th. Townley was again 11th after having to use his spare bike in the wake of a mechanical problem suffered on the sighting lap.

‰ÛÏI went with the guy next to me and hit the gate: Stupid," Townley explained. "I haven‰Ûªt done that in years. The bright points were that we made a change overnight with the bike and then again between warm-up and the first moto and the guys nailed it. It was pretty good and we made progress. I felt like I had a lot of cobwebs and rust in the system and it was a really tough track for me to have my first race. It was so tricky and I think ‰Û÷treacherous‰Ûª would be a good word for it; there were literally potholes on the track.

"There are a lot of positives to take out of the first moto because I went from 21st to 10th on the first lap and I was able to ride with guys who were championship contenders. The second moto was just a cock-up. I went for the sighting lap and we had a ‰Û÷mechanical‰Ûª. I had to use the back-up bike and it was a huge lesson for us as a whole team. Stefan said that in 18 years of racing he never had to use the back-up machine. So we learnt a lot," he concluded.

With a pair of 11th's Townley ended the night in 11th overall in the standings.

BT earned a pair of 11th's at Qatar
MXGP Moto1:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 33:56.516
2. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:07.507
3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:19.644
4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:23.148
5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:27.015
6. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:29.383
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:30.886
8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki MXGP), +0:32.227
9. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:33.672
10. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:35.336
11. Ben Townley (NZL, Suzuki MXGP), +0:38.183
12. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:40.398
13. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:58.882
14. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:59.204
15. Milko Potisek (FRA, Yamaha), +1:20.303
16. Tanel Leok (EST, Husqvarna), +1:22.623
17. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:42.385
18. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Honda), -1 lap(s)
19. Kei Yamamoto (JPN, Honda), -1 lap(s)
20. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), -5 lap(s)
21. Alex Snow (GBR, Yamaha), -13 lap(s).

MXGP Moto2:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:07.633
2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:08.230
3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:09.952
4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:10.628
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:11.960
6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:14.601
7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:19.057
8. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:20.221
9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki MXGP), +0:41.741
10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:42.891
11. Ben Townley (NZL, Suzuki MXGP), +1:06.509
12. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +1:08.264
13. Tanel Leok (EST, Husqvarna), +1:09.018
14. Milko Potisek (FRA, Yamaha), +1:14.161
15. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:18.256
16. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Honda), +1:24.587
17. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:28.740
18. Kei Yamamoto (JPN, Honda), -1 lap(s)
19. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s)
20. Alex Snow (GBR, Yamaha), -1 lap(s)
21. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), -18 lap(s).

MXGP Overall Result & Championship Standings:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points
2. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 42 p.
3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 42 p.
4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 34 p.
5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 33 p.
6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 30 p.
7. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 25 p.
8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki MXGP), 25 p.
9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 25 p.
10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 24 p.
11. Ben Townley (NZL, Suzuki MXGP), 20 p.
12. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 16 p.
13. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 14 p.
14. Tanel Leok (EST, HUS), 13 p.
15. Milko Potisek (FRA, YAM), 13 p.
16. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 11 p.
17. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, HON), 8 p.
18. Christophe Charlier (FRA, HUS), 8 p.
19. Kei Yamamoto (JPN, HON), 5 p.
20. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 3 p.
21. Alex Snow (GBR, YAM), 1 p.

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