Welcome to our weekly web-exclusive column, Transmoto USA Insider Presented By Answer. Penned each week by our man on the ground, Transmoto's US Correspondent, Jason Weigandt, USA Insider presents the story-behind-the-stories of the AMA supercross and motocross scene.
New Orleans is one of the wildest cities in the U.S., so naturally a whole bunch of SX industry folks headed out to party on Bourbon Street last Friday and Saturday night. It was great fun, but I was standing right next to Chad Reed on Friday when some serious news came in: Ben Townley had gone down and down hard at round two of the Australian MX Nationals.
Reed had learned to roll with the punches over the years, and didn't seem too distraught over seeing his grand plan for this summer's Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in the U.S run aground. By Friday night, no one knew how serious BT's injury would be, but you can pretty much assume that hip injuries are never minor. Still, Reed didn't let it ruin his night or his weekend—he's been around long enough to let the highs and lows of racing bring him too far up or too far down.
So there's another lesson for Reed as a team owner. By employing himself as his only rider, Reed seemingly had the most reliable employee possible—Reedy's consistency is legend, and his "in it to win it" mentality meant the TwoTwo team should have solid attendance throughout the season. But then Reed crashed out in Dallas. It was a bummer and a surprise, but it was on him. And he's not the first team owner to experience heartbreak when a rider goes down with an injury—it's a huge part of the game.
The Townley deal is a new experience—it's the first time Reed's team has been effected by something so far out of his control. In fact, Reed actually told me he didn't want Townley to race the second round of the Australian championship and instead hoped he would come over to the U.S. to begin prepping for the season over here. And when we contacted TwoTwo Team Manager Dave Osterman last week about setting up a possible photo shoot with Townley, he cited April 16th as a good guess to when Townley would land on U.S. soil. Now all bets are off until Townley's condition is known, but again, hip injuries are rarely minor.
What's next for TwoTwo? No one is sure yet, as the real focus is on Townley, one of the most star-crossed riders of all time. Each time BT seems set for a rise, he goes through another fall. Worse yet, no one can figure out why Townley ends up getting hurt so often. He doesn't ride recklessly, he doesn't take unneeded chances, and he doesn't race unless he's totally prepared. And yet, bad things keep happening to a good person. It's one of the great unpredicatablities of racing, something Reedy will have to live with throughout his journey into team ownership.