Townley, Loungo Fire Shots At Each Other

FIM MX World Champs 2016

maddix park mx Following today’s qualifying win at the MXGP of Thailand, Ben Townley caused a stir at the press conference with his remarks in regards to track conditions at the opening two rounds—Qatar and Thailand.

MX Vice transcribed his comments from the conference.

“Coming to these tracks, they are just not good enough. You’re going to hear honest and open from me, Qatar and here isn’t the pinnacle of our sport. We are the MXGP, the best riders in the world, and these guys can’t sit here and honestly say it is an amazing place to ride a motorcycle. We are in a flat paddock in the middle of nowhere.

“I tried to get a GP in New Zealand and we would have been there this weekend or the following weekend. You guys would have the best event on the entire calendar if you came to New Zealand. That is where the culture shock is for me; to be here and in conditions like this. This, in my opinion, is not good enough for the sport. I’m glad I got the opportunity to say that here today. We get told to not put the sport in disrepute, but this is the best championship in the world. I think that it deserves better.”

[MX Large has audio of Townley's press conference. You can listen here.]

According to MX Vice, Youthstream president Giuseppe Luongo held a press conference to announce that the championship was returning to Indonesia where he addressed Townley’s comments.

“I am very disappointed. It is not the way for a professional rider to talk in a press conference like this; I never say something when a rider finishes fifteenth, sixteenth, eighteenth or twentieth place, because it is not fast. I cannot say it is sh*t, it is not good and so on.

“The people here make a big effort to make the track. The weather conditions are very hot; in Thailand it is very hot. The riders know it is very hot, they have to come here prepared for this kind of track. If they want to be world champion, they have to show they can be fast everywhere. The people on the track work day and night to make it the best condition and, frankly, the track is much better than last year.  

“Also to say that Qatar was sh*t and this was sh*t, when a rider is not fast I do not say they are sh*t. I have to respect their work and they have to respect the work of the organisers if they want to be professional. I am very, very disappointed and I have already spoken to Suzuki about it. If Ben Townley wants a change of work, I will employ him to come and make the track for us.”

I would guess you haven’t heard the end of this one.

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