Bay of Plenty rider Ben Townley was simply unstoppable at round two of the New Zealand Supercross Championships at Motueka on Sunday.
The Kawasaki ace has been on the comeback from injury but showed he was easily on the path back to full fitness as he won all three open class races at the popular Rat Track facility.
Each time he edged out an injured Cody Cooper (Suzuki), of Mount Maunganui, and New Zealand MX1 motocross champion Justin McDonald (Honda), of Christchurch, in the race for the podium top step.
Fourth best in the open class was Mount Maunganui’s Mason Phillips (Kawasaki).
Meanwhile, in the seniors Lites (250cc) class, it was time for defending champion Scott Columb (Suzuki) to come good.
Columb had a difficult opening round in Timaru a week earlier but he was in superb form at Motueka on Sunday, finishing 1-2-1 in his three races to overtake early Lites series leader Phillips, and rocket to the top of the standings.
Tight action in the junior grades saw Wanganui’s Tom Managh (Suzuki) close up on Rangiora’s Isaiah McGoldrick (KTM) at the top of the 250cc class.
Managh dominated on Sunday as he scored 1-2-1 finishes, moving up from second overall and 11 points behind McGoldrick to equal first in the standings.
Second best in this class on Sunday was Auckland’s Brandon Tipene (KTM), although he remains third in the series standings.
In the junior Lites (85cc) class, Rangiora’s Micah McGoldrick (KTM), younger brother of Isaiah, stretched his points lead with 1-3-1 results, while Pahiatua’s Scott Sowry (Kawasaki) impressed with three runner-up finishes.
Feilding’s Haki Waller (Kawasaki) was third best in the class at Motueka and he remains No.2 in the class rankings.
Motorcycling New Zealand supercross co-commissioner Neil Ritchie said he was thrilled with the racing so far.
“Everywhere we can see the level of racing improving all the time. Tailenders in the lites classes are not getting lapped and it’s the best supercross racing we’ve seen in New Zealand.
“It’s the best depth of talent we’ve seen, real quality racing,” said Ritchie.
More sizzling action is expected at round three in Tokoroa this Saturday night. The fourth and final round is set for Manukau City on Saturday, January 23.
Leading standings after round two of the New Zealand Supercross Championships at Motueka on Sunday:
1. Ben Townley (Tauranga) 115 points;
2. Justin McDonald (Christchurch) 95;
3. Mason Phillips (Mount Maunganui) 86.
1. Scott Columb (Queenstown) 108 points;
2. Mason Phillips (Mount Maunganui) 102;
3. Brad Groombridge (Taupo) 87.
1. Isaiah McGoldrick (Rangiora) 100 points;
2. Tom Managh (Wanganui) 100;
3. Brandon Tipene (Auckland) 84.
1. Micah McGoldrick (Rangiora) 115 points;
2. Haki Waller (Feilding) 97;
3. Dylan Walsh (Christchurch) 86.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com