Motocross: Townley unhappy with campaign

By Colin Smith

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Tauranga's Ben Townley high flying on his way to sixth place overall in the Grand Prix of Germany last weekend. Photo / Suzuki Racing/Ray Archer
Tauranga's Ben Townley high flying on his way to sixth place overall in the Grand Prix of Germany last weekend. Photo / Suzuki Racing/Ray Archer

Tauranga's Ben Townley has continued his climb back up the 2016 FIM Motocross World Championship rankings after missing two rounds because of illness.

A virus prevented Townley from taking his place with the Team Suzuki World MX GP squad at the rounds in Argentina and Mexico during April.

He rejoined the series for the Latvian round on May 1 and at the GP of Germany last weekend he achieved two seventh place rides at the Teutschenthal track after battling through the pack from a disappointing 17th qualifying position.

Round seven at Teutschenthal saw a large crowd lining the banked spectator zones while freshly watered hard-pack, deep ruts and later dust in the second motos were just some of the conditions the GP riders had to face.

In the opening moto Townley made a mid-pack start and set about gaining positions to climb to seventh. The New Zealander repeated the effort later in the day for his most consistent outing of the season so far.

The two seventh places combined for sixth overall in Germany with Townley one point ahead of his Suzuki team-mate Kevin Strijbos (Belgium).

"Ben did two solid seven places but messed up qualification and his start place in the gate was not ideal," said Team Suzuki MX GP general manager Stefan Everts.

"Overall I'm happy that he finally finished two motos and I think he needs a few more races under his belt to get better and stronger and to get somewhere in the championship. He is impatient and wants results, so he is not happy," said Everts.

Townley is now 13th in the championship standings as the series moves to Italy this week for the Grand Prix of Trentino.

"It is positive to keep strong for two motos without any major hiccups," said Townley.

"My expectations and what is reality is not the same right now so I'm not happy. My mistake yesterday hurt me for the starts. I had to fight for the top 10 from deep [in the pack] in the first laps and made multiple passes. I made hard work for myself and need to clean up my Saturdays to get in a better place for Sunday."

Italian Antonio Cairoli (KTM) won both races in Germany, leading home Slovenian Tim Gajser (Honda) in the first moto and Russian Evgeny Bobryshev (Honda) in moto two.

Championship leader Gajser posted a 2-4 result in Germany and with seven on the 18 rounds completed he leads with 299 points ahead of Frenchman Romain Febvre (Yamaha) on 291 points and Cairoli on 263.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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