TLD/Lucas Oil Honda Race Report: Pala Raceway
The final round of the Lucas Oil national motocross championship concluded over the weekend at Pala Raceway. The Troy Lee Designs Race Team finished strong with all four the team riders finishing inside the top ten on the day.
In the 450 class Ben Townley worked his way up from a bad start in moto one to sixth position. It wasn’t the ride he was hoping for and he couldn’t seem to find his rhythm. The second moto looked a little better for the New Zealand native as he rounded turn one in sixth and started moving forward. He passed into fourth on lap three when a crash by the leader would move him into third position. For the duration of the moto Ben rode well and it looked like he would add another podium finish to his season. With just two laps to go, however, he was bumped to fourth by Metcalfe and relegated to fourth overall on the day. It was an appropriate ending to the season for Ben as he would end up fourth overall in the championship as well. While BT seemed slightly disappointed in his effort on the day and his standing in the series, it was a great stepping-stone for the determined rider and a milestone year for the Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda squad.
“To be honest I had much higher hopes for this whole season,” said Townley after the motos. “I feel like my speed was there at times but I struggled with some strength and fitness issues that certainly stemmed from my injury just prior to the season. I couldn’t be happier with the TLD crew and all the work they have put in this year. It’s been a lot of fun. I wish I could have landed some wins this year but it just didn’t come together. I’m looking forward to the Motocross of Nations in a couple weeks time. Maybe I can put it together there and get some moto wins in Colorado.”
The 250 class started off with a bang as rookie Cole Seely rounded the start corner in second. He held the position for much of the race but eventually gave way to Rattray and Pourcel, dropping to fourth. He continued to put in his best effort all season as he stayed glued to Pourcel’s rear fender. Then, with five laps left to run, Pourcel went down and handed third to Seely. Cole would maintain his position and score his first podium finish in professional motocross competition. Wil Hahn suffered a bad start and an altercation with another rider that slowed his progress to the front. Wil pushed to the end though and crossed the line in seventh.
The second moto didn’t start well for either rider as they came around in tenth and thirteenth positions respectively. Wil would claw his way to seventh again while Cole would struggle a bit and end the race in twelfth. The Seely/Hahn duo ended the day and the season in sixth and seventh positions overall. Wil Hahn, even after missing several rounds due to injury, finished tenth in the season point standings.
Tarah Gieger had a rough day at Pala. After wrapping up third in the championship [mathematically] the weekend prior, Tarah was hoping to get a win under her belt before calling it a summer. It wasn’t meant to be as she got a bad start in moto one and then crashed while working her way forward. The second moto went much better and Tarah would finish in her comfortable third position and end the day in fourth overall.
For most of the crew the next couple weeks will be a time to relax and reflect on an amazing summer. For Ben Townley and a portion of the staff it is time to focus on the Motocross of Nations in Denver, Colorado. The prestigious event will be held at the Thunder Valley venue and the Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda team will be there to support Ben and the New Zealand national team.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the sponsors, fans and friends that have supported the Troy Lee Designs team this year. It has been another milestone year for the race team and we couldn’t have done it without your support. So, from everyone at Troy Lee Designs Racing, thank you very much.
The Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oil Honda race team would like to thank all of the companies that have supported our racing efforts over the years. They include Lucas Oil, American Honda, Red Bull, PPG, Wings for Life, Alpinestars, Avia, Couts Heating and Cooling, Dunlop, Epic Action Video Cam, Leatt Brace, McQueen Racing, Oakley, Pacific Collision, Pro Circuit, Rossignol, Santa Cruz, Selle Italia, Skullcandy, All Sport Dynamics, Cycra, Fasthouse, Flexfit, Hinson Clutch, Hot Wheels, Kahne Racing, Light Speed, Muc-Off, N Style, Nameplate, ODI, Primm, QTM, Renthal, RK Chain, Excel, Twin Air, Vasser Racing and VP Racing.
Follow the Troy Lee Designs / Lucas Oil / Honda team at www.troyleedesigns.com