News 30 Jul 2015

Townley to finish MX Nationals season with Penrite Honda

New Zealander named replacement for Ford Dale.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

New Zealand’s former world champion Ben Townley will contest the final three rounds of the 2015 MX Nationals, replacing Ford Dale on the Penrite Honda team.

Twonley rode Coolum’s fifth round in a satellite Honda structure, but will now form part of the official team alongside Cody Cooper in preparation for the Motocross of Nations in September.

“I’ve been selected to represent New Zealand for the MXoN, which is two months away to the day, so my preparation for that is kicking up a gear and doing the last three Australian MX rounds will be great prep for that event,” Townley said.

“Coolum was good earlier in the year, I feel pretty confident going to sand tracks in this part of the world with my experience from racing sand races overseas, so I expect Nowra to be a little different.

“I feel like I’m riding pretty decent and my fitness and strength should be a little better on a harder-based track. This round is a pretty late decision, so I’ll get the ball rolling again here in Nowra and then see how things go.

“I actually know nothing about Nowra, but from what I have heard it sounds like starts will be key and I like technical tracks. That’s the challenge of racing a series, you have so many different tracks and terrain; that’s how you find your champion.”

Since retiring from fulltime competition in 2013 and with a number of successful cameo appearances since, Townley hasn’t ruled out a fulltime return: “Two years ago I lost the love for racing. The injury toll within a couple of years took its toll on me mentally, as well as physically.

“In those two years, I feel like I’ve had some time off, I’ve been able to stand back and look at the sport, and stand back and look at myself as a rider. I feel like I have a different perspective on things now – I enjoy riding my bike and racing it again.”

Townley’s first appearance with Penrite Honda will come this weekend at Nowra’s eighth round of the MX Nationals in New South Wales.