It’s two from two for Ben Townley after the opening round of the New Zealand Supercross Championships near Timaru on Wednesday night.
The 25-year-old Townley was again in sublime form as he topped the senior open class at the Pleasant Point track.
Townley — who won the 2004 motocross world championship before heading to the United States to win the East Coast Lites Supercross crown in America in 2007 — is fast heading towards full fitness again after an enforced layoff due to a shoulder injury he suffered late in 2007.
In his first comeback ride Townley won the big annual Whakatane Summercross motocross just after Christmas and he has now made it two major wins from two starts with his victory at the Backflips Supercross facility on Wednesday night.
Tauranga-based Townley (Penny Homes Kawasaki KX450F) battled national MX1 champion Justin McDonald and Mount Maunganui’s Mason Phillips before claiming the outright win with 1-3-1 results on Wednesday night.
Townley ended the evening with 55 points, five points more than Christchurch’s McDonald.
“I qualified fastest and felt pretty good all night,” said Townley.
“I stalled the bike on lap one of race one but came back through the entire field to win that. It felt awesome. Race two I was battling with Cody Cooper and we came together on the track and got tangled. We both went down. I think I did okay to salvage fourth place from that. Race three was pretty straightforward.
“I’m looking forward to the other rounds now and hopefully building on my points lead,” he said.
Townley will next race at round two of the New Zealand Supercross Championships series, in Motueka this Sunday night, before taking his Kawasaki KX450F to race the annual Woodville Motocross GP at the end of January. The he heads back to the United States to race the American motocross championships.
Townley rode a Kawasaki KX250F to take the East Coast Lites Supercross crown in the US in 2007 but had been unable to compete at the top level since the end of that season.
His wins at Whakatane and Timaru surely demonstrate that Townley is on his way back to the top.
Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan