Round number five of the 2010 AMA Pro Motocross Championship series rolled through the mile-high city of Lakewood, Colorado on Saturday, and some of the best racing action of the season went down under the hot, demanding conditions.
Returning to the standard daytime format after two years as a night race, the Thunder Valley National went off without a hitch under blazing temperatures in the low 90s. In the end, Red Bull-backed TLD/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Ben Townley finished with an impressive series-best second-place overall—his first podium of the year!
Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short nailed the first holeshot of the day in 450 moto one, and Red Bull teammate Townley immediately began stalking him from the second spot. Townley went down before the end of lap one, however, and dropped all the way back to tenth by the time he remounted.
Born and raised in Colorado, Shorty, with the support of the hometown fans, rode with great intensity and pride as he went on to lead the first four laps of the moto. Bad luck struck on lap number five, however, as Short momentarily hit the Lakewood soil.
"I can’t thank my team and my family enough for all of their support." -Ben Townley
Having difficulty restarting his bike, Short dropped all the way down to the 12th spot, but charged his way back up to eighth by the end of the moto. Meanwhile, Townley had worked his way back up to fourth place by lap five, but on lap number seven he went down again, dropping to sixth place, where he would eventually finish the moto.
When the gates dropped for moto two, it was once again Short who got the jump, as he rocketed up the Thunder Valley start hill with his second holeshot of the day! Andrew was displaced by a hard-charging Ryan Dungey on lap number four, however, and then Townley snuck by during the fifth rotation to push Shorty back to third.
The running order up front stayed the same during the remaining 11 laps of the race, and Townley’s second in the moto propelled him to second overall for the day. Shorty’s 8-3 moto scores were good for a fifth overall finish.
“This feels really great to be back up on the podium,” Townley commented after the race. “It’s been a long time coming, and I can’t thank my team and my family enough for all of their support. I hope this is just one of many to come.”
The RedBud National is the next stop on tour, as the series will bring in the Fourth of July holiday in the beautiful rolling hills of southwestern Michigan next weekend.