Motocross

Townley reflects before heading to the USA

Author: Geoff Meyer

Posted:

Ben Townley is about to leave Europe and make his move to the AMA 125cc Nationals. The 2004 World MX2 champion will race his last Grand Prix in Ireland this weekend and then finish off his five years in Europe at the Motocross of Nations on September 25. For Townley the moves is something that has kept him busy in the last weeks.
Ben Townley. Photo: Ray Archer
"I am starting to realize that I have to start saying goodbye to people. I have built up friendships for life, and I won't see those people for some time. But I am looking forward to it, it's a new challenge for me and something I have always wanted to do. I move to Florida and will begin working on doing the East Coast Supecross series and then the 125cc Nationals." In Lierop, Holland two weeks ago Townley struggled after a turn one crash in the opening moto. The come from behind charge cost him a lot of energy. The difficulties of racing after a poor start cost him any chance of winning the GP, although his charge through he pack was amazing to watch. "In one way the Grand Prix of Netherlands in Lierop was a good GP, but also not good. I went down in the first moto and had to go into the pits. On the first lap I was like 28th and worked my way up to fourth. Probably the first race was my best chance to beat Stefan, and I used a lot of energy in that first moto, coming through the pack. It was a tough race, in the second race I was just too tired to keep the pace. I have to come into the pits because my front guard was flapping around and you don't realise it affects your balance and lineups for the jumps, so I had to get that fixed. I was knackered, it was a tough race." There have been some very enjoyable moments for Townley in 2005. Winning his first ever MX1 GP, some race wins and battles with his good friend, Josh Coppins. Overall the learning experience Townley was looking for worked out perfectly, and he knows he will go to America ready to take on the best in the AMA series.
Ben Townley. Photo: Ray Archer
"Obviously winning is always good, Spain, Italy, France. I mean in Italy I had never won a moto and I won both races. In France I was just on fire in the second race, winning the Grand Prix. Isle of Wight was a good one for me (Townley took his third GP of the year). Seeing Josh (Coppins) win both races in Sweden was also awesome. For sure that race was awesome, Josh and I had some really good racing there, probably the best we have ever had." Townley has made some great friends in the paddock, and learnt a lot about training preparation, life in general, and race speed. Names like Smets, Everts, Coppins and Pichon have all taught the New Zealander something about being at the top level in the sport. "I learnt a lot from Joel Smets with his training, also from Josh, I learnt about dedication and the will to win. Being with Josh has helped a lot, he is a balanced person. Being around Stefan he is so good on a bike and watching him was an experience in itself, the way he rides the bike. The thing is about Stefan is he won the championship because he was more consistent. I think Josh, Pichon and I were often quicker than Everts, but he was always there. I need the experience, you learn from your mistakes and I am a quick learner." He is also excited about training with American legend Ricky Carmichael. The two will share the same trainer and it's again the experience of working with the best that will take Townley to the next level. "I will have the same trainer as Ricky Carmichael and I will have the same program as him, so that will help me." Townley is also looking at the battle between America's MX2 rider Ivan Tedesco and the top MX2 GP riders. He has huge respect for his good friend Tyla Rattray, although he also knows that Rattray won't have it all his own way at the Motocross of Nations. "I don't think Tedesco will be better than us. I think he was not the fastest guy in American this year. It will be interesting to see how Tyla (Rattray) goes against Mike Alessi in Ireland. Tyla will be the guy in the Motocross of Nations, whoever wins between him and me there will have boasting rights for years. We are having races in practise and we are banging bars, we get into it. We have had a few races and he is scared of me. "I come up the inside and he knows I won't back off, if he comes up the inside I just keep my line, it's been good for both of us, making us smart. Tyla is not that good at passing, but he has already improved so much. Three months ago he was in hospital and look at him now. It will be good fun at the Nations. I think Cairoli is doing MX1, so that is a pity. It's been fun getting ready for the Nations. Tyla is amazing, you can't ride on just talent these days, Tyla has done the hard work, and the work has paid off. It is easy to say you will win when you get back from injury, but it's another thing actually winning and Tyla has done that." Main Photo: Townley doing what he does best
Credit: Ray Archer

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