Ben Townley Makes Early Race Return

ben_townley_kawasakiAfter a broken jaw and a head injury, the Kawasaki New Zealand team didn’t expect Ben Townley to be on the track for quite sometime. But three months was three months too long for the Kiwi, and in a last second decision, decided to make his 2011 racing debut.

Townley got back on a bike for the first time two weeks ago, and Townley just couldn’t wait to hit the track again.

“I was so excited, but at the same time a little nervous to be racing again,” Townley said. “I was all smiles underneath my helmet and so happy to be out there because it’s been such a long time and my return to Europe has been delayed so I was really excited to get things started.”

Townley hasn’t raced on the European circuit for a while, as he has spent the last 5 years racing in America. But the former MX2 champion is ready to make his return to Europe to fight for the 2011 MX1 title.

Townley didn’t score the points he’s capable of, but for his first round back, he did a fantastic job. Townley took 7th in the first moto, and was off to a great start in the second moto before pipe trouble caused him to retire.

“Every time I go out on the track I improve so I was fairly happy with my speed, especially in the second race I felt like my old self out there but I think that the biggest thing at the moment is still putting everything together,” Townley said. “I’m still building up on my corner speed and attacking the track and that’s all coming back to me.

“I’ve only been on the bike a couple of weeks – I know it was only a British championship and I’ve got to get to the world championship now but the speed of the top guys in the UK has always been very high. I believe they go really well on British soil and they have a lot of intensity; the British championship is strong and it’s very professional over there. At this stage I don’t think it’s worth putting in expectations on Valkenswaard next weekend; I want to keep improving on the bike, keep on improving on my riding and then take the race as it comes. I need to get through Sunday and then survive on Monday. I can’t wait…..”

Now that Townley has got the first race out of the way, he can set his sights on a successful 2011 season. Townley is currently training in Belgium for the Netherlands GP next week.

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