Returning to GP motocross and being far from 100 per cent ready has been a tough pill to swallow for Team CLS Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ben Townley. The determined New Zealander battled in the demanding sand of Valkenswaard over the Easter weekend and it was this result that has forced Townley and his team to re-assess his comeback strategy.

“I expected my riding and results to be on a better level but it was a lot tougher than I anticipated and I need some more time to build up my body physically. I’m not the type of guy who can accept riding round in 19th position,” admits the Kiwi. “I want to win, my sponsors want me to win, the team wants to win, my fans want to see me up front and that’s why we have decided to sit out Glen Helen (USA) and Indaiatuba (Brazil) and focus on building my stamina, race speed and overall bike set-up. It’s a tough decision to make but the people who know me know that I want to succeed and this is the quickest way that we can be fighting for race wins.”

Team owner and manager Jean Jacques Luisetti supports the decision and sees the benefit of Townley returning in Saint Jean d’Angely. “It was not a decision which made us happy because it was great to see our three riders together in Valkenswaard. However, our goal is to win GPs with Ben. The long trips and heavy travel schedule for the next two GPs and the jetlag were the main reasons to miss USA and Brazil. Ben will continue his training and our goal is to be on the podium in France. This is a gift we have asked him because our team is French! We are sure that he will have a competitive level for our home GP.”