7th overall, a crash and solid run to 7th in the second moto marked a busy but effective and encouraging day of action in Argentina for the MXGP opener.
Rain showers on Saturday night gave a more temperate raceday at Neuquen in Argentina a fresher feel for the opening thrust of nineteen in 2018 MXGP. On the fast and loose Patagonian soil Shaun experienced two different races on the Wilvo Yamaha – one of slight frustration and another of encouraging recovery – to finish the afternoon 7th in the world.
His starts with the YZ450F were bright without being outstanding – perhaps the most obvious area of work for the Grands Prix to come – but #24 slotted into the top ten dispute through both thirty minute and two lap motos. A mistake dropped the Scot out of the battle for seventh in the first sprint and he couldn’t quite recover to relegate Glenn Coldenhoff to score 10th. Mindful of his error Shaun was fast and focussed in the second race to make sure of his result.
The Grand Prix saw a battle royale between Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli.
“I was rolling my eyes in that first moto; it was a silly mistake and I lost some positions and a slot in that group for the mid-top ten,” he says. “I knew I had to correct that for the second moto and got a little of my drive and comfort back. I’ll take seventh place for sure because that is the kind of platform I’ve always like to build and then keep working away at the next step. Jeffrey and Tony were on another level today so we need to look at eating away at the next tier near the top five and then the podium. After a shitty end to 2017 some of the feelings and comfort here is exactly what we needed and we’ll take that long flight home pretty happy, and knowing what we have to do for Valkenswaard. We’ll race next weekend in Holland and get fully set for round two: I’m looking forward to it already.”
Check back on the website for more of Shaun’s progress up to round two at the Eurocircuit south of Eindhove on March 18th.
Photo by Ray Archer