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Ben Townley

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TOWNLEY LUCKLESS AT LOMBARDIA MXGP

Team Suzuki Press Office – June 26th 2016. 

High temperatures graced the Fullback Grand Prix of Lombardia and the 12th round of 2016 MXGP as Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Ben Townley lamented a hard day and zero fortune in the Italian sand. 

Some 27,000 spectators applied sun-block and filtered into the compact venue a short distance from the city centre but there was little summer fun for Townley who could not finish either moto. 

Jumpy and bumpy the terrain at the popular venue for winter tests (almost considered an ‘all-weather’ circuit for its usability throughout the year and sandy nature with a hard base) rippled into a juddery course by the end of the race programme that once more featured a heavy European Championship support-card. Townley was competing at the Nuvolari layout for the first time since the 2005 Starcross International; a well-established pre-season meeting that often draws many Grand Prix riders. 

The New Zealander showed good speed on Saturday to recover from a first corner crash - where he was nudged to the ground - to fire back to 12th position in the Qualification Heat. The tight opening left-turn leads into an even narrower right-hander making the first seconds of the motos at Mantova a crucial phase of the Grand Prix. 

Townley unfortunately crashed in the same way on the first corner in the first dash of 30 minutes and two laps after contact with a rival. The incident kicked-off another charge that sadly came to an end with a second fall after failing to avoid a downed rider and his retirement in the formative stages with a sore knee. His second race was ruined on the second lap when he clipped Evgeny Bobryshev who had made a mistake ahead of him and again he had to retrieve his motorcycle and was again out of the running. 

Townley has dropped from 15th to 16th in the standings in a frustrating return to the top level so far. 

The second Grand Prix in a week came too early for Kevin Strijbos and his recovery from an injured left wrist. The Belgian is currently convalescing to be able to ride his RM-Z450 without pain and to be back up to speed. The ‘#22’ should be fit a ready to enter the paddock once more for round 13. He is currently 11th in the championship standings after his unfortunate malaise. 

MXGP now enters a summer break with a three-weekend hiatus preceding the Grand Prix of Czech Republic on the hilly hard-pack of Loket on July 24th. 

Stefan Everts - Team Principal: 

“I’m almost without words for Ben because his luck has been unbelievable. He was saying after Warm-up this morning how good he was feeling and then to have both motos go the way they did was so disappointing for him and for us because the whole team pushes very hard and does a good job. He is pretty down about today but we have some time to reflect on this and the next Grand Prix will be another challenge.” 


16th May 2016 Italy

Ben Townley:  “The first moto was pretty decent; I had an average start and got up into seventh, sixth at one point, but then Gajser passed. I struggled a little bit to be honest and wasn't very happy with my riding. In the second one the start was pretty much the same and was pretty much eighth the whole race. I was riding better but then on the last lap crashed while Nagl was putting pressure on. I rushed into a turn and into the back of Gautier and tipped over. I made a mistake and paid for it. It was another average weekend in my opinion and I need to keep working and get better on Saturdays as this part has been a big Achilles heel for me. Starts as well. We’ll do some work before Spain and see what we can get out of it.” 

MXGP Moto1:  7th. Ben Townley (NZL, Suzuki World MXGP),

MXGP Moto2: 15th. Ben Townley  

MXGP Overall result:  10th Ben Townley 

15th May 2015 ITALY

Townley, on his first visit to Arco di Trento, entered a rut in the formative stages of the race and was struck by the pursuing Shaun Simpson causing both to fall. Townley picked-up and recovered to 22nd spot but was again lamenting poor luck through the Saturday schedule. “I got a good start and was running top-10 and was just aiming to keep it on two wheels in the early stages but ended up getting shunted and went down. It became a salvage operation from there and I got up to 20th but lost another two places because I’d been filled-in by that much roost that my helmet became heavy and was slipping down on the last two laps. So, another difficult Saturday and the start will be everything tomorrow. I just need to do what I can." 

28th April 2016 

Ben Townley will return to the 2016 FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship at round six of the championship that takes place around the wide and fast soil of Kegums this weekend for the Grand Prix of Latvia this weekend. 

For Townley, Kegums – the 2014 Motocross of Nations site – will be an important meeting to get back into the pace and rhythm of Grand Prix after a virus sidelined him in the wake of round three at Valkenswaard in the Netherlands over Easter weekend. The 31 year old had impressed at round two in Thailand with Pole Position and second place in the second moto; still the team’s best classification so far this season. 

"It has been a turbulent month and it feels like a lot of little things have happened to stop us making forward steps and showing potential, but since I came back and started to feel better, then we’ve done some good work," Townley said. 

“There is still no set explanation for what it was,” the Team Suzuki World MXGP rider continued. “It came from the Flu after Thailand, but just left me wanting to sleep all day with no energy whatsoever. I saw a cardiologist, specialists, sought herbal solutions - everything - but it just needed a passage of time to clear. It is frustrating.” 

Townley has been riding and honing the works RM-Z450 in the past two weeks and had a positive showing at the ADAC MX Masters opening fixture at Drehna in Germany last Sunday. On the same weekend, Strijbos owned both motos for a perfect score in the first event of the Dutch national series at Mill in Holland. Overall there are positive signs ahead of Kegums, and after the team has been able to sculpt the current race machines further in terms of set-up. 

“The team has drawn a line in the sand when it came to our technical direction,” Townley added. “I hadn’t really been able to test to my full capacity before, but lately we found some good solutions. It has all been about feeling comfortable on the bike because that is the main ‘fix’ to be able to go fast. As most people know, I haven’t been riding that much over the last couple of years and it has taken me this period to gel with the bike and work-out the best way forward. I felt I was missing drive over some obstacles and also in slightly softer ground. We worked on that and looked at the shock and I’m very happy with where we are.” 
Sunday 24th April 2016

ADAC MX Masters Germany : Click for the highlights Ben is number 8 but, be warned, the commentary is in German.  Ben Townley seems back to form. He topped the qualifying at the ADAC MX Masters in Germany then followed that with a race win and a DNF. Ben liked the track - fun, soft with quite a lot of jumps- and had a great weekend racing. Some different bike settings proved to be good. In race 2 he got the holeshot and led for several laps before retiring with mechanical issues.

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 26. SUZUKI RM-Z450s DOMINATE ADAC MX MASTERS 

Suzuki’s RM-Z450 dominated the opening round of the ADAC MX Masters Championship in the hands of Ben Townley and Filip Bengtsson at Fürstlich Drehna, Germany at the weekend. 

Team Suzuki World MXGP rider Townley, in his first ride back from a mystery virus that has sidelined him for the past month, dominated qualifying and also the opening race aboard his factory RM-Z450, while Bengtsson claimed victory in race two with his Team Castrol Power1 Suzuki Moto-Base RM-Z450. 

New Zealander Townley demonstrated his class on Saturday by laying down the quickest qualifying time on the 1.65 km long circuit ‘Rund um den Mühlberg’ with a 1:48.748 lap-time to earn pole position. 

"BT" then took control of the first moto on Sunday in lap three and never looked back, celebrating victory by more-than 20 seconds clear of second place. It looked to be a similar story in race two, but the 31-year-old was forced to retire with a mechanical problem after two laps. 

Said Townley: “That was a pity, I had high ambitions for the second outing as well, but that´s racing and it can happen. We’ve put it behind us now and look positively towards what´s coming next.” 

Maddix Park's photo.

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