Former World Champion Ben Townley will return to MXGP action this weekend for round six of the FIM series at Kegums in Latvia.
The New Zealander has been training and riding in Europe for over two weeks and since missing Grands Prix in Argentina and Mexico to recover from a virus that required a short convalescence period.
The 31-year-old scored a pole position and then second place in one of the motos at the Thai round (the second meeting of the year) in his last MXGP appearance at full fitness.
The sickness post-Suphanburi cast the Team Suzuki rider to the sidelines at Grand Prix of Europe. MXGP returns to European climes this week with the 2014 Motocross of Nations site welcoming the paddock back and beginning a run of three events in succession.
“There is still no set explanation for what it was,” Townley says. “It came from the Flu after Thailand but just left me wanting to sleep all day with no energy whatsoever. I saw cardiologist, specialists, sought herbal solutions, everything! But it just needed a passage of time to clear. It is frustrating.”
Townley has taken advantage of the brief break in the calendar to continue set-up work on the RM-Z450 and made improvements with the feeling of the rear Kayaba shock. He has also been pushing his physical training to ensure he feels no aftermath of the illness. “I felt I was missing some drive over some obstacles and also in slightly softer ground,” he said. “We worked on the suspension and I’m really happy with where we are.”