New Zealand’s Ben Townley has bounced back from the disappointment of the previous round – where he suffered fuel pump problems — to climb onto the podium at the fifth round of 12 in this season’s United States Motocross Championships in Colorado at the weekend.
The man from Tauranga qualified seventh fastest at the Thunder Valley circuit then took his Troy Lee Designs Honda to sixth and second placings in his two 450cc class outings, good enough to finish the day on the second step of the podium, just below championship leader Ryan Dungey (Suzuki).
Townley is still seventh in the championship standings, but just one point behind Yamaha’s Josh Grant.
“I felt really good in the first moto but then washed out on the first lap,” said Townley. ” I came back really strong and was looking for a podium spot when I went down again behind Brett (Metcalfe) and that pretty much took the wind out my sails. I’m over these small crashes and mistakes but guess when you are pushing that hard these things can happen, but in the second moto I sort of backed it down a little and it paid off with a podium which is great for my confidence and for the team,” said Townley.
Dungey won the day with a 2-1 moto finish and this means Dungey has extended his 450 Class points lead with his fourth consecutive overall victory, while French Kawasaki rider Christophe Pourcel also added to his 250cc class (MX2) championship advantage with his second overall win.
Since round two of the 2010 season, Dungey has been on a mission, showing his peers that despite being an open class rookie, he is more than ready to lead the way in the title fight. On Saturday, he maintained the form that has put him in the driver’s seat early on, securing a runner-up effort in Moto 1 and going on to win his sixth of the last eight motos in the final race of the day.
“I’ve been fortunate to win some races (this year),” said Dungey. “I just want to keep it up and win as many races as possible. I didn’t know what to expect (coming into the season), so I came in with an open mind.
“Hangtown wasn’t what I expected, there just wasn’t enough time. But I put it behind me and we’re moving forward. They let the track go today and it got rough which was cool. It made for some great racing.”
Townley posted his best finish of the season, grabbing the runner-up spot (6-2) while Honda’s Brett Metcalfe, of Australia, finished third (4-4) and assumed the runner-up position in the season standings. Defending champion Chad Reed (Kawasaki), of Australia, finished ninth (10-7) and fell from second to third in the points.
Dungey now holds a 51-point advantage heading into the halfway point of the season, leading the most laps in the class at 62 and holding the best average finish of 2.7.
Through the first four rounds, the 250 Class had seen four different riders stand atop the overall podium. However, Pourcel ended that at Thunder Valley, going 1-1 on the day to take a convincing win.
“My race went good,” said Pourcel. “I won both motos and had some good starts so it was a pretty good day. I’m surprised (with the competition). You never know who will be out there. But it’s been great and I’ve been riding good. All you can do is ride your best. I’m trying to do my best for the fans and give them my best on the podium.”
After five rounds, Pourcel is the only rider in the class with more than one moto victory and has found his way to the top of the podium for at least one moto at each stop. Honda’s Trey Canard captured second overall (3-2), while last week’s winner and Kawasaki rider Dean Wilson, of Scotland, rounded out the podium in third (2-3).
Pourcel moves into a 34-point lead over Wilson in the standings and leads the class in laps led with 72 and average finish at 2.4.
The Women’s Motocross Championship returned to action at Thunder Valley with the Able Planet National, round three of the 2010 season. Yamaha’s Jessica Patterson, of Tallahassee, Fla., remained perfect through three races, sweeping the day’s motos en route to the overall. Honda’s Ashley Fiolek finished second (5-2) while Kawasaki’s Sara Price finished third (2-6).
This fifth round of the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship was staged at the Thunder Valley Motocross Park, on the outskirts of Denver, the same track that will host this year’s Motocross of Nations event in October.
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship continues next weekend from Buchanan, Mich., for round six and the Rockstar Energy RedBud National from RedBud on July 3.
AMA Pro Motocross Championship, Thunder Valley Motocross Park – Lakewood, Colo.
June 26, 2010, Round 5 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (2-1)
2. Ben Townley, New Zealand, Honda (6-2)
3. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda (4-4)
4. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha (1-10)
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (8-3)
6. Kyle Regal, Kemp, Texas, Honda (9-6)
7. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha (7-8)
8. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM (12-5)
9. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki (10-7)
10. Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha (13-9)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 218
2. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda, 167
3. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki, 160
4. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM, 154
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 153
6. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 152
7. Ben Townley, New Zealand, Honda, 151
8. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha, 108
9. Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Suzuki, 101
10. Kyle Regal, Kemp, Texas, Honda, 94
250 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki (1-1)
2. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda (3-2)
3. Dean Wilson, Scotland, Kawasaki (2-3)
4. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki (4-4)
5. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda (6-5)
6. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha (5-6)
7. Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Yamaha (8-8)
8. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (7-9)
9. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (9-12)
10. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda (16-7)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki, 219
2. Dean Wilson, Scotland, Kawasaki, 185
3. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki, 180
4. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 162
5. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha, 151
6. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 140
7. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 135
8. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda, 112
9. Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Yamaha, 108
10. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 106
WMX Class (Moto Finish)
1. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (1-1)
2. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda (5-2)
3. Sara Price, Canyon Lake, Calif., Kawasaki (2-6)
4. Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., Yamaha, (3-5)
5. Sarah Whitmore, Cheboygan, Mich., KTM (6-4)
6. Vicki Golden, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha (9-3)
7. Tarah Gieger, Winter Gardens, Fla., Honda (4-7)
8. Alexah Pearson, Rocklin, Calif., Yamaha (8-8)
9. Mariana Balbi, Brazil, Yamaha (7-13)
10. Erica Cook, Natalia, Texas, Yamaha (12-9)
WMX Class Championship Standings (After 3 of 8 Rounds)
1. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha, 150
2. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda, 124
3. Tarah Gieger, Winter Gardens, Fla., Honda, 109
4. Vicki Golden, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha, 97
5. Sara Price, Canyon Lake, Calif., Kawasaki, 88
6. Mariana Balbi, Brazil, Yamaha, 78
7. Sarah Whitmore, Cheboygan, Mich., KTM 72
8. Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., Yamaha, 71
9. Alexah Pearson, Rocklin, Calif., Yamaha, 70
10. Tatum Sik, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha, 68
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com