Tuesday, March 20

BT TO AMA

Ben Townley to contest AMA Pro Motocross Championship with TwoTwo Motorsports

TwoTwo Motorsports is pleased to announce the signing of former world champion and multiple AMA race winner Ben Townley to contest its 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship campaign.

With team owner and rider Chad Reed sidelined as he recovers from his AMA Supercross injury, the team sought a rider that could race competitively at the head of the 450 class while assisting in the ongoing development of the Honda CRF450 motorcycle.

“Prior to the Supercross season I had been speaking to Ben about racing competitively in the US again, and we’d spoken about the possibility of running a bike built by Mitch Payton from our truck for selected rounds.

“After the injury, surgery and the initial realisation that I would be sidelined from competition for some time, I needed to consider the team’s ongoing development and if there was a rider that could step in and be competitive in the role,” said Reed.

“We believe in Ben's talent and work ethic, and combined with the great crew we have at TwoTwo Motorsports, I feel we have the formula to not only represent our sponsors but also challenge, win races and compete for the number 1 plate.

“I'm excited and I know the whole team is looking forward to getting back racing and supporting Ben.

The decision was made in consultation with various parties and sponsors, with Reed remaining committed to providing the most value possible to those that have supported his newly-established team.

“Our core sponsors - Bel-Ray, Honda Motorcycles, Shift, Etnies, Skullcandy and Fox - have stood behind us from the beginning and have been a big part of our success on and off track,” Reed continued.

“We’re not just going racing to have a presence at the events, we strongly believe Ben is a rider that can challenge for race wins and we will give Ben every opportunity at success and getting the Honda on the podium.

“He will have the same factory support that I did and we will begin testing in the coming weeks to ensure he is comfortable and prepared for the series.

“I would like to thank Honda Australia’s Tony Hinton and Yarrive Konsky for allowing Ben to pursue this opportunity.”

Townley looks forward to maximising the opportunity with TwoTwo Motorsports.

“I’m really looking forward to racing the AMA Motocross Championship with TwoTwo Motorsports,” said Townley.

“It’s an incredible opportunity and one I will be grabbing with both hands.

“I can’t wait to work with the team to race and further develop the bike throughout the season.

“I also need to thank the Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing team for supporting me with this opportunity,” Townley added.

The twelve-round Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship begins at Hangtown in Sacramento on May 19.

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Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing backs Townley's AMA Motocross opportunity

Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing and TwoTwo Motorsports today confirmed a joint agreement which will see Ben Townley contest the AMA Pro Motocross Championship before returning to lead the Australian factory team’s assault on the national Supercross Championship.

Townley will step aside from his seat in the domestic series to campaign the CRF450 of injured TwoTwo Motorsports owner/rider and multiple Supercross and motocross champion, Chad Reed.

Reed required surgery following horrific injuries sustained in an AMA Supercross crash in February, and after careful deliberation and consultation between team and sponsors, chose Townley to lead the TwoTwo Motorsports outdoors campaign and continue its path of motorcycle development.

“After surgery and the initial realisation that I would be sidelined from competition for some time, I needed to consider the team’s ongoing development and if there was a rider that could step in and be competitive in the role,” said Reed.

“Ben has had success at the highest level of motocross and is riding at his best at the moment.

“He knows what it takes to win, and work in a close team environment. I believe he can be competitive and can be a contender in the outdoors championship.”

Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing Team Owner Yarrive Konsky and General Manager of Honda Motorcycles Australia Tony Hinton were approached by Reed to discuss the possibility of Townley’s release from the factory team.

With Townley’s career prospects in mind, both parties agreed to support the move.

Konsky had been looking forward to a successful Australian Motocross season with Townley and said the decision to release his star rider was not an easy one.

“My decision was a difficult one but Ben is a World Champion and I strongly believe in putting my riders first,” said Konsky.

“We all spoke at length before a decision was reached. Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing’s relationship with Ben has been strengthened and an important relationship with Chad and the TwoTwo Motorsports team has been established.”

Respecting Townley’s exceptional talent, Hinton said Honda was naturally disappointed to see him leave the factory team but was confident that it still had the chance to challenge for the Australian title in 2012.

“This amazing opportunity has arisen for Ben and of course he wants to take it,” said Hinton.

“The preparation and testing that the team has already done is still beneficial and we are confident in the talent of our riders Brad Anderson and Ford Dale.

“On behalf of Honda, I would like to wish Ben and TwoTwo Motorsports all the best for the season.”

Townley had been overwhelmed by the support from his team and sponsors during this time.

“The support I have received has been unbelieveable, I can’t talk highly enough of the team, the components and the bikes,” said Townley.

“The Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing team are ready to win a motocross championship and I know Brad Anderson and Ford Dale have the ability to prove that and I will be behind them 100%.

“Honda, the team and the sponsors have all had my best interests in mind and I can’t thank them enough.

“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to return to the US, and thank Chad very much for the chance.”

Townley will contest the opening round of the Australian MX Nationals before he begins pre-season testing in the US.

Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing and Honda Australia support Ben Townley and wish him every success with TwoTwo Motorsports in 2012.