Catching up With: Ben Townley


It's been awhile since BT was back on this side of the Atlantic at a motocross race so at Hawkstone Park this past weekend we just had to grab a quick word with the former World Champion about his current status, what he thinks about the supercross season and what his plans are for the future...

How are you and what's the latest information on your injury?
I’m healed up, it’s just the crash I had, not a lot of people know that I had a decent concussion and I’m waiting on the clearance for that. The advice I had was to take some more time so I’m not going to question that advice.

So when is the expected date of return?
No, I don’t know. No one knows. The reason I’m standing here today is because my team said to me that I can return whenever I want, so they’ve put no pressure on me. And I was so grateful to them for that. They asked me to be here in Europe to do some PR and be involved in the riders and help them and just be involved in the team. So that’s why I’m here, I don’t know when I’ll race, but I know when I’ll race again, I’ll be 100% and I don’t want to be one day early and take any chances.

And what do you expect when you get back out on the track again, how do you expect to finish?
No different to what I thought before I had the injury, I want to be racing to win.

Obviously you're not  racing in America anymore, have you been following the supercross out there?
Not a lot, to be honest with you. Watching it, I get a bit gutted that I’m not there so I wasn’t following it very much at all, but then it got interesting I was like holy s!%& this is awesome and then Reedy got right up in Stewart’s grill. That was pretty cool. I've been watching the last few rounds. Then I was driving here this morning, and I hit up my old man and asked “what happened last night?” (at Jacksonville) and he said “it was chaos!”

It’s hard to follow the series in Europe, what with timezone difference and the lack of live internet/TV coverage, is it something you miss being a part of?
For me, it was my dream to be there and I used to race with Villopoto, Dungey and Canard and now they’re at the top of the sport and that’s where I wanted to be. But I've taken a different path now and I’m happy with that but just watching those last few races, has been a gem – that’s how racing should be.

Are there any plans to go back to America and do outdoors or supercross?
Right now and the next few years, my immediate focus is right here.

And then Ben got swarmed by the fans who are also extremely pleased to see his return to the GP's. He really is a popular figure over here and I think everyone is excited to see him on a bike again, battling with Cairoli, Desalle & co... and while it may not be for the title this year (depending on his recovery), it'll definitely be for the race wins.

David Bulmer