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Everts on Townley – Interview

FIM MX World Champs 2016

maddix park mx

Stefan Everts was a lot of the reason Ben Townley was such a talent back in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The New Zealand was like a sponge with Everts, taking in all his knowledge and using it to his advantage. Now a decade later Everts is back in the ear of BT, and the results are showing.

With a moto win in the qualification race in Thailand Townley showed that he is a top GP rider again. His brilliance in Ernee for the 2015 MXoN was something that shocked many people, but racing GP for 18 rounds is something totally different.

We caught up with Everts after the victory on Saturday in Thailand and asked him about the progress of his pupil.

MXlarge: For Ben to do well in Ernee, that seems easier for a rider of his talent, but running at the top in the MXGP series would to me seem a lot more difficult.

Everts: Yes, it is tougher in MXGP than MXoN. What happened in des Nations is one thing, but to do it for the whole season is something else? The pressure and focus that comes for a whole championship is a lot higher compared to the des Nations where you just ride for your country, it’s a completely different approach.

MXLarge: At times you can see the old Ben Townley, riding with confidence, the guy who ruled the world in 2004, and showed so much promise in so many races. It’s nice to have him back. What does he need to be winning GPs again?

Everts: We know he is still a bit rusty and needs time to get in good shape, he has been retired for a few years and we all know the story. Qatar was a tough one, but he managed to improve every time he went out. He is still struggling with the set-up of the bike, and we are still trying to find the right direction. Preparation went good, but you come into the races and it’s different, and it’s still a bit of a searching thing. His win on Saturday in Thailand was good for his confidence and we made some good process with bike setup. We are still learning every race with his comments, it’s good for the whole team (the qualification win in Thailand). We have worked hard the last three months and Qatar was a big disappointment for everyone, even for me. A qualification win isn’t a GP win, but he proved he can still ride a bike and still be up there and that was important for the rest of the season.

MXlarge: You have worked with a lot of riders, some listen and some don’t. It doesn’t seem like an easy thing to do. How is Ben in this?

Everts: It isn’t always easy working with riders, but Ben really opened up on this and he asked me to help him with that. He needs to follow what I try and tell him and teach him, and sometimes it’s hard for him to changed that, with things he has in his mind, but he said he really wants to try it and so far the relationship is going well, and let’s hope the Saturday result in Thailand brings us a little further. We have to be realistic, there are still two or three guys out there that are stronger and faster and we need to keep telling Ben to race for himself and put himself in a realistic position where he is at in the race. For me it isn’t up front yet, like I said there are other riders who are faster, stronger, but when you do something like he did in Thailand, you have to take that moment, but still not rush yourself. That is one of the main things Ben needs to accept and be a little patient, and not race to win, but race to build up and to get stronger when we come to that moment that he is ready to kick their asses and be the best.

MXlarge: We spoke at the airport in Thailand, and I remember you telling me how the results would come. Could you have expected they would come so quickly. I mean it was only a qualification race, but it is still a result.

Everts: we could see in timed practice that they already made a good step and it isn’t all about the set-up, we try and work on many things and at the end of the day it’s about the results. Of course it’s nice to have a good set-up and good results, but I didn’t expect a moto win to come this quickly. I could see the track in Thailand was something for Ben, with the ruts and it was technical, and Qatar was square bumps and just a difficult track and hard to pass. The track in Thailand had many lines and was giving more changes to have good riding.

MXLarge: He has some good track coming up, that should work well for him. He was always strong at Valkenswaard.

Everts: The track is important, but he needs to get stronger on the tracks he doesn’t like and he doesn’t have that yet. I think places like Valkenswaard, Latvia, Argentina they are good for him, so it’s looking promising.

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