Motocross

Townley celebrates comeback with a win

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Ben Townley. Photo: Andy McGechan.
The 25-year-old former motocross world champion is fast heading towards full fitness again after an enforced layoff due to injury and he can now probably claim he‰Ûªs a lot closer to 100% again after winning the main class at Monday‰Ûªs big event near the coastal Bay of Plenty town. Tauranga‰Ûªs Townley (Penny Homes Kawasaki KX450F) battled a tenacious Michael Phillips, of Rotorua, throughout the opening laps of the day‰Ûªs first race at Whakatane and, when Phillips struck problems with his Honda, Townley was unchallenged as he rode on to take the chequered flag. It was Townley‰Ûªs first major victory since he had crashed to the sidelines at the Motocross of Nations in the United States in September 2007 and his jubilation at winning again was evident as he punched the air. He finished runner-up to Phillips in the next outing and then saved his best for last, snatching the win from Phillips on the last lap of the day‰Ûªs final race. ‰ÛÏI saw Mason Phillips (Kawasaki KX450F, Mount Maunganui), in third place, was catching me and thought I‰Ûªd better pull finger. ‰ÛÏ And, besides that, I didn‰Ûªt think Mikey (Phillips) could keep up that pace at the front. I knew Phillips was at least as tired as me, so I pushed hard over the last few laps and, sure enough, I could see him starting to change his lines and ride defensively.‰Û

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