Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing has opened its 2012 Monster Energy MX Nationals campaign in emphatic style with Ben Townley taking a clean sweep in the MX1 class and teammate Ford Dale finishing second overall in the MX2 class at Round 1 of the series at Conondale today.
Townley, who set the fastest qualifying time in the MX1 class, led home teammate Brad Anderson in the two, back-to-back 10 lap races.
The former world champion then annihilated the field in the final 14-lap moto. Townley held a 30 second lead at the halfway point and a small off into a tight right-hander failed to impact his charge, the New Zealander winning convincingly ahead of rival Josh Coppins.
Despite being struck down with a stomach bug prior to the first race, Townley said he was determined to perform at his best in his first ever MX Nationals event.
“It was great day,” Townley said. “I came here with the intention to win but with the AMA Motocross opportunity on the horizon it was in the back of my mind that I needed to play it safe. The Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing team has worked very hard and tirelessly over the off season and it showed in our results today. They also made a number of sponsor changes, such as the switch to Pirelli tyres and those changes really did contribute to our success. ‘
“The track was well prepared and really fast. I am not normally a fan of fast tracks but it developed some good ruts and had a few good technical sections. I was feeling really off colour before the first race so I just tried to battle through. I definitely feel better now and look forward to heading home to see my family,” Townley added.
Teammate Brad Anderson was on target to join Townley on the podium before his #60 Honda CRF450 developed a misfire during the final race, forcing him out of contention.
Despite taking no points from the final race, Anderson’s two; second place finishes gave him fifth overall for the round.
“The bike was fantastic in the first two races but it developed a miss in the final race which we think was caused by the fuel pump,” Anderson explained. It is a real shame for the team, they put so much work into this weekend and we were looking good for having all three riders on the podium.
“I rode a bit tight in the first race and got arm pump. With no rest between races it was still there during the second race. It was great to get the first big meeting of the year out of the way. I have good speed and I now know what I am up against and the areas that we need to work on,” Anderson concluded.
Ford Dale showed he is back to his best; the local rider and clear crowd favourite qualified first for the MX2 class and came from behind to win the two back-to-back 7-lap races.
In the final 14-lap contest Dale crashed heavily while sitting fourth. The Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing rider re-joined the race and worked his way back up the order to eighth.
Missing the top spot on the podium by just one point Dale said he was pleased to be taking a solid points haul into the next round.
“It was a really good day for me,” Dale said. “I set the fastest time in qualifying and came from behind to win the first two races. In the final race I was sitting fourth but crashed and to be honest I was a bit dazed for a couple of laps. I got it together and came back through to eighth. The bike was awesome, all the hard work the team and my mechanic Dan have put in really paid off today. I can’t wait for the next round.
With just two weeks until the next event, the Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing Team will have little time to reflect on their success at this weekends event which saw them take victory in five of the six races contested across the highly competitive MX1 and MX2 classes.
Monster Energy MX Nationals MX1 Class Results
1. Ben Townley 75
2. Josh Coppins 62
3. Todd Waters 54
4. Jake Moss 46
5. Brad Anderson 44
6. Lawson Bopping 41
7. Jay Marmont 41
8. Cody Cooper 38
9. Tye Simmonds 38
10. Billy Mackenzie 34
Monster Energy MX Nationals MX2 Class Results
1. Kirk Gibbs 63
2. Ford Dale 62
3. Luke Styke 57
4. Josh Cachia 56
5. Adam Monea 50
6. Justin McDonald 48
7. Kade Mosig 44
8. Cheyne Boyd 35
9. Lewis Woods 35
10. Brock Winston 31
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