New Zealand’s top motocross talent and former MX2 world champ, Ben Townley, has won the opening round of the AMA Toyota Motocross championship in front of a sell out crowd in Sacramento, California.
Having wrapped up the Supercross Lites East coast championship less than a month prior, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki star has rocketed his way into the outdoor season with a 2-1 finish for overall honours, in front of team-mate Ryan Villopoto.
22-year-old Townley grabbed a good start in moto 1 but lost the front end in an off camber muddy turn on lap one. He recovered quickly, and joined the back of the leading train of riders, assessing their every move. An exciting battled ensued, with Townley passing both Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey in the same turn to move into second behind fast starter Josh Grant. ‘BT’ relegated the Californian as he blasted into the lead but a charging Villopoto soon took over from the Kiwi. Townley hounded his younger team-mate to the checkered flag for a Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki 1-2 finish.
The second and deciding moto was to be Townley’s from the word go. Number 101 shot out of the gate to claim the hole-shot and never looked back. Townley’s smooth riding style and ability to stand in the rougher technical sections saw him pull a steady, sizeable gap over Villopoto. Unchallenged, Townley saluted the enthusiastic partisan crowd to take his first ever outdoor Motocross Lites win.
“I really didn’t know what to expect today commented Townley. “My season has started well and I got a lot of momentum going after the Supercross although I got caught up in the first moto and didn’t ride how I should have. I was frustrated and went back and assessed the race with the guys and we changed a few settings on the bike. The hole-shot helped a lot. I got the lead and rode really consistent, put my laps down and picked some good lines. Once I got into my own rhythm I rode like I know how and it was a whole different Ben Townley out there.
Townley heads to High Point raceway in Mt Morris next weekend for round two of the AMA Toyota Motocross championship.
1. Ben Townley Kawasaki 2-1 47
2. Ryan D Villopoto Kawasaki 1-2 47
3. Ryan M Dungey Suzuki 3-3 40
4. Joshua M Grant Honda 4-6 33
5. Brett Metcalfe Kawasaki 7-4 32
6. Jason D Lawerence Yamaha 5-5 32
7. Thomas K Hahn Honda 6-8 28
8. Broc Oneal Tickle Yamaha 8-7 27
9. Martin Davalos KTM 12-10 20
10. Jake T Weimer Honda 15-9 18