News 20 Mar 2012

The Point: Townley to TwoTwo

Read what key MX Nationals representatives think of Townley’s signing with Chad Reed.

Ben Townley’s signing with TwoTwo Motorsports has created shockwaves in the industry today, opening up the door for him to race for Australia’s Chad Reed in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in the U.S.

But here in Australia, we’ll miss the chance to see Townley at his best for a full season in the Monster Energy MX Nationals, which he was originally scheduled to do for Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing. spoke to a number of key parties to get their thoughts on BT’s new deal and also grabbed their opinion on how it’ll affect the Australian championship.

And as always, don’t forget to post your opinion at the bottom of the story – it’s always welcomed here at MotoOnline!

The 101 will be overseas for the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season. Image: Alex Gobert.

Jay Marmont – Monster Energy Kawasaki
I think it’s a great move for Townley to head over for Chad. It’s probably one of the best teams to be on in America at the moment and I think it will be good to get back over there and make a name for himself. To be riding under Chad and the infrastructure that he’s built around him, Ben would be insane not to take it up.

I was looking forward to racing Ben here, I knew he’d be strong because he’s world class. Unfortunately I have a small injury at the moment and I know that he is doing the first round or two, so it will be hard to compare myself against him there. From what I’m hearing though, the way he’s riding at the moment, it will be great to see him race on Australian soil.

To have that caliber of rider race in our series will be great to watch and it makes all of us riders who are racing here look to how much further we’ve got to go, or we might be on his pace. I think it will be a great match-up for us and I look forward to seeing him out there and racing him.

Josh Coppins – CDR Yamaha
It’s a great move for him, Chad obviously has a great bike and is surrounded by a great team, so it was a no-brainer for Ben, really. I think the pace he’s going at the moment, he’s ready to run right up front. He ran right up there with Troy Lee and I think he’s going better now than he was then, plus he’ll have a better package with TwoTwo Motorsports.

It was the best move for his career and he always said New Zealand and Australia was a stepping-stone back to being 100 percent healthy before he goes back to America. It happened quicker than what he expected, but with one of, if not the best, team. On that side I think it was a no-brainer for Ben.

For me personally it’s good, because Ben’s riding really, really fast at the moment and he’s hard to beat. I’ve only been able to take one moto away from him and have only been able to pass him a few times during the New Zealand season. Admittedly he’s on top of his game and I need to improve, but he was going to be hard to beat, that’s for sure.

On a selfish personal front [laughs], it’s good for me, but on the championship front it’s disappointing because he brought a bit more excitement to the championship. At the same time though, it’s still a great series and still very much international. On top of that, Ben also has time on his side to come back to Australia, it wasn’t a rush as such, so I think it’s been a good move all-round.

Brad Anderson – Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing
It’s real good for him and obviously if I had that opportunity and it was alright with Yarrive [Konsky], I would have jumped at it to be honest. I think Ben’s goal was to get it working here this year and then go back, so you couldn’t get any better opportunity than to go now for Chad. That’s a real good opportunity.

It doesn’t affect me in a way, but I think it would have been a good atmosphere if we were one and two [laughs]. Every team rider wants to be number one, really. I would have been looking forward to racing against Ben, but with this opportunity you can’t turn it down.

Kevin Williams – Williams Event Management
It would have been great to have Ben here, but I believe it won’t affect the championship in any way. If anything, it will probably make the competition tighter, but I think it will go to the final moto of the last round, as it did in the 2011 season.

We’ve known from day one that Ben was going to use the MX Nationals as a platform to get back over to America. The door has been opened early and he would have been crazy not to take the opportunity. While Chad’s out, we’ll call Ben Townley an Australian and barrack for him along with the other Aussies!