New Zealand’s Ben Townley just can’t seem to shake his run of bad luck, the Kiwi hero experiencing massive highs and unbelievable lows on the same day.
Townley qualified solidly at the latest round of the US motocross nationals, 10th fastest in the 450cc class, but his weekend unravelled after that.
Despite suffering a blow to the face from a rock that was thrown up by the rear wheel of Kevin Windham’s tyre, the man from Tauranga finished an impressive third in the day’s first 450cc outing at the 11th round of 12 in this year’s AMA Championships, at Delmont, Pennsylvania, on Saturday.
But he had another shocker in the next race, DNFing after coming to grief in turn one on the Steel City Raceway track.
He tangled and crashed with Australian Michael Byrne and could not continue the race because his bike was damaged.
“I was right on Kevin when we hit the wall jump on the first lap and his back wheel spat out a rock that connected me right on the nose.
“At first I thought of pulling out as the pain was that bad but the adrenalin must of taken over and I had to work my way back from around 6th spot to third. It was really close racing with Andrew Short towards the end of the moto but I managed to hold on. We patched up the nose for moto two but my race didn’t last very long with the first turn crash so it was a day to forget. I’m looking forward to racing Pala next weekend.” said Townley.
Fortunately for Townley, he remains in fifth spot in the championship standings, and is just 10 points behind KTM’s Mike Alessi with just one round remaining.
It was an untypically tough day at the office for newly-crowned champion Ryan Dungey, the Suzuki star not finishing the first moto but then coming out and winning the next.
The day at Steel City belonged to veteran Windham (Honda), a ring-in for an injured Davi Millsaps.
Windham finished 1-2 to take the overall for the event.
Fellow Honda rider Short, named recently to join Dungey in America’s three-rider Motocross of Nations line-up, had a tough day too, finishing a respectable 4-5 but dropping from second to third in the championship standings as Australian Brett Metcalfe — in the Team Australian line-up for the MXoN – snatched away the No.2 position in the standings after finishing 2-3 at Steel City.
In the 250cc class, Honda’s Trey Canard won for the fifth time in the last six races. Series leader Christophe Pourcel (Kawasaki), of France, who is now just seven points ahead of Canard in the standings, was runner-up.
Leading 450cc class standings after 11 of 12 rounds:
1. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki) 511 points;
2. Brett Metcalfe (Honda) 356;
3. Andrew Short (Honda) 351;
4. Mike Alessi (KTM) 301;
5. Ben Townley (Honda) 291;
6. Josh Grant (Yamaha) 260;
7. Kyle Chisholm (Yamaha) 238;
8. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha) 211;
9. Chad Reed (Kawasaki) 204;
10=. Kyle Regal (Honda) 201;
10=. Nick Wey (Kawasaki) 201.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com