Ben's on the Pace:

Posted: Tue 13 Apr 2004

This report is from Ben Townley`s PR man, Glen Dempsey.

Visit BT30 @ his website BenTownleyMX.Com:
It features his latest news, pictures, profile etc. and while you are there, leave a message for the young Kiwi in his `Guestbook`.

BT Gives ‘The King’ a Run For His Money:

The Easter Monday Motor Gazet trophy looked more like a GP line up than an international festive race to be held at the former GP circuit of Wuustwezel. Ben Townley stepped up a few horses and rolled out his 450cc KTM machine to do battle with the likes of Everts, Smets, Ramon, Bervoets, Strijbos, and a whole gaggle of “big boys” on their heavy machines.

Race one saw nineteen year old Townley mixing it up with the front runners in the opening minutes when an early mistake caused him to hit the dirt. Wanting to prove a point he remounted and gave chase only to succumb to another error which he recovered from and still managed to fight back to seventh position by the end of the race. BT was however posting faster lap times than the race leaders which meant that he was still in the running for heat victory later in the day.

Race two was very much the same as race one however this time it was fellow KTM rider, Sven Breugelmans, who could not avoid a collision with BT when a braking bump kicked the Belgian straight into the Kiwi. Once again Townley had to remount and give chase to a long gone pack. The Kiwi was clocking impressive lap times but would need to stay on the bike for the last heat if he wanted to make an impression.

That’s exactly what he did. Coming from a mediocre start BT blasted past Strijbos, De Reuver, Everts, Ramon and Smets in one lap and by lap two the flying Kiwi had taken the lead. Everts had wisely followed BT and was nestled in second place. Townley and Everts were setting some blistering lap times and the duo left the rest of the pack fighting for scraps. The Belgian fans did not know whom to cheer for – the talented teenager who was giving ‘The King’ a run for his money or were they to show their loyalty to the seven times world champion.
Everts tried every move in the book to get past but Townley had an answer for him every time. It was just after the halfway mark when Everts made his move into the lead. Townley was not having it - and in turn started to pressurise his mentor.
The crowd was going berserk as the race was now on. With three laps to go the two were now hitting backmarkers which could either make or break the race. It would be the latter for Townley as a backmarker wobbled off his race line and collided with the KTM in midair sending BT flying.
Everts was lucky to have no more breathing down his neck while Ben was lucky to come off unscathed as he still managed to finish 5th which would give him seventh overall for the day.

“Just one of those days I guess” laughed the Kiwi. “I was expecting to have a bit of fun today and enjoy the good weather, but I spent more time picking up my bike than anything else. The 450cc has so much power so I had to change my riding style to suite the bike. I thought I was going to have Stefan in the last heat. I was joking with him on the start line before the race. I told him I was going to beat him! I can’t wait to ride the 450cc again sometime for a re-match.”