Former MX2 World Motocross and AMA Supercross Lites champion, Ben Townley, will enter the first three rounds of the 2010 MX1 Motocross World Championship, which starts in Bulgaria on the 3-4 of April.
The 25-year-old New Zealander will race for the official factory Honda Racing MX Team which will mark his first appearance on European soil since he represented Team NZ at the Motocross of Nations in 2006 at Matterly Basin (UK).
Having been a serious threat to the 2005 MX1 World championship title, where he battled MX Legend Stefan Everts and countryman Josh Coppins to win 4 GPs, Townley is aiming high and could be a serious threat to the likes of reigning world champion Antonio Cairoli.
“I'm really looking forward to coming to Europe,” commented the newly crowned NZ Super Cross champ. “It is perfect fit for me right now to get back to racing and will help me prepare for the outdoor champs in USA.
“I've also been racing in NZ and getting back to speed which has been part of my plan to get myself back into racing shape. I raced in Sevlievo [Bulgaria] and Valkenswaard [The Netherlands] before, so I know those tracks well and have been on the podium in Sevlievo and twice in Valkenswaard – Fermo [Italy] will be new to everyone so I hope to continue the result there too.
“The Euro fans are so passionate about racing and I have good fan base there, which will be a great way to get back into international racing. I have no doubt that Paulo, Lorenzo and the Honda Racing MX Team will support me in the best possible way and make it an easy transition for going back to America. They will be able to help me test my legs while in Europe. ”
Team manager Lorenzo Resta admitted he had tried to sign Townley for the entire season.
"I'm so proud to have Ben in our Team. I have tried hard to have Ben for all the season but, unfortunately, it was not possible,” he said. “Now this a little dream that becomes real and it will give us huge media exposure. This is a first step in the direction of 2011 when the race calendars of AMA and MX1 will hopefully be compatible."
“It will be great for us to have Ben in our team,” declared team owner Paolo Martin. “This is a great opportunity for us to improve and develop our bike - Ben is an experienced rider and his advice and feedback will be precious."
Townley will team up with young American hopeful Jimmy Albertson on the Factory CRF450.