Moto Media

Ben Townley to make a return to racing at iconic Australian desert race

BT101 - no credit offered but I'm 99% sure it's Shayne Rice

Townley, who retired from full-time professional competition at the beginning of the year, is no stranger to endurance races having participated in New Zealand’s annual Raglan Rocx event.

The former World Motocross Champion will tackle the gruelling four-hour race, onboard a specially prepared Honda CRF450R and said he is looking forward to making a return to competition.

Ben Townley: "I am really looking forward to Hattah. Now that I have retired from full-time competition I have the opportunity to do some events like this which are a personal goal.  I have had to get off the couch and do a bit more training. Bike wise, I feel great riding, but four hours is a long time. Everyone is in the same boat it is going to come down to who rides a smart race.  I am going to head over to Australia a bit earlier to do some testing, as we will change quite a few things on the bike to suit the off-road race.” .

The Carlton Dry Honda Racing Team will field a three-rider team at the iconic event with multiple off-road champion Peter Boyle joining Townley in the 450cc class and team owner Yarrive Konsky confirmed to contest the 450cc class and Veterans 35-44.  

Boyle has competed in the Hattah event many times, finishing as high as 3rd outright in 2009. 

Peter Boyle: "I am looking forward to racing the 450” Boyle said. "I raced Finke for the first time a month ago and have been training hard ever since in an effort to be better prepared for Hattah.  I really hope to be on the podium, it would be great to get a 1-2 with Ben.”

2013 will mark the third time Konsky has participated in the endurance event and despite getting limited bike time in the lead-up, he said is looking forward to challenging himself in Mallee scrub.

Yarrive Konsky: "The first time I raced pony express, the second time solo on a 250cc. This year I will compete on my CRF 450R. I enjoy the sand and the challenge but I definitely haven’t had the bike time I would have liked coming into the event. They say there is nothing like racing for practicing and at least this year I know what I am getting myself into.” .

Tony Hinton - Honda Motorcycles:  "On the back of Honda's recent 1-2 success in the 2013 Finke Desert Race, we are pleased to have such a strong rider line up for the 2013 Hattah race. It's a serious test for both man and motorcycle and we are confident the Carlton Dry Honda Racing riders will put in a good campaign."

The Hattah desert race will push competitors to their limits over eight laps of the 38km loop which travels through the unique Mallee scrub and includes everything from tight, technical sections winding through trees to wide open blasts through open paddocks and sand hills.