It appears that the TwoTwo Motorsports Honda team will indeed be hitting the road once again this summer after signing former World Champion Ben Townley to the team. Townley will replace the injured team owner and racer Chad Reed for the remainder of the 2012 season. The New Zealander will contest the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, beginning with the opening round at the Hangtown National in Sacramento, California, on May 19.
"Prior to the Supercross season, I had been speaking to Ben about racing competitively in the U.S. again, and we'd spoken about the possibility of running a bike built by Mitch Payton from our truck for selected rounds," said Reed. "After the injury, surgery and the initial realization 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.
"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-one plate. I'm excited and I know the whole team is looking forward to getting back racing and supporting Ben."
Reed added that 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 said. "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 says signing with TwoTwo Motorsports is a great opportunity for him.
"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."