Townley wins in New Zealand - Motocross Extravaganza
News Tuesday 23th October 2012 By Andy McGechan
But six months later and the 27-year-old seems to have put those injuries well behind him. He dominated the main class at Taupo on Sunday, easily winning both his MX1 races and then putting icing on the cake with a start-to-finish win in the champion-of-champions Nicky Smith Memorial feature race as well.
“I was a bit nervous starting out today,” said the Bay of Plenty racer. “It’s been a long time since I raced motocross. I knew that (2011 national MX1 champion) Cody Cooper would be fast. He’s just back from representing New Zealand at the Motocross of Nations and he was fast in Australia this year too, so I knew he’d be a threat.”
But Townley (Honda CRF450) was a step ahead of Cooper (Suzuki RM-Z450) all day at Taupo, winning the first MX1 race by a staggering 16 seconds from Cooper, with Paraparaumu’s Jesse Donnelly (Suzuki RM-Z450) a distant third.
The next race was a little closer at the finish, but again Townley won, this time by nearly five seconds, with Cooper second and a lot of daylight before Taupo’s Brad Groombridge (Honda CRF450) crossed the finish line in third position.
Townley led the eight-lap feature final from start to finish, with Cooper again the runner-up, this time 22 seconds adrift of the Honda star, with national MX2 champion Darryll King (Yamaha YZ250), of Hamilton, finishing third overall in this star-studded all-capacities race.
“In race one I had to fight back from a horrible start and I simply wanted to gauge myself against Cody, learn about what parts of the track I was quicker than him,” said Townley afterwards. “It was good to win in the end by such a clear margin.
“In the second race I hit the wall a little bit in regards my fitness. I was struggling with that. The last race was muddy and I love racing in mud. It was a good thing I got the holeshot and had clear air in front of me.
“The biggest thing I need now is race time on the bike. It’s all very well to practice, but there’s nothing like racing to sharpen you up,” said Townley.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com