Positive outings in Belgium and then also the British Grand Prix allowed #24 to get some valuable race mileage on the Wilvo Yamaha…

The International at Kester witnessed Shaun back fighting for podium positions and then the ninth round of MXGP saw Matterley Basin again host the British Grand Prix and the Scot returned to the world stage for the first time since a rib and hip injury sustained in practice during the Russian GP last month.

A dry and sunny Matterley, close to the town of Winchester and back staging top flight racing after a muddy 2017 Motocross of Nations in October, allowed Shaun to head back to the UK with the goal of picking up his fitness, form and pace at the highest level.

Basking in the temperatures and with the support of the Simpson Army, many fans and friends, the former multi-British Champion had some ups-and-downs through the weekend. An early fall in the first moto on Sunday cast him outside the points-scoring positions but then a better start and entertaining tussle with countrymen Tommy Searle and Max Anstie in the second race led to a top twelve classification and fulfilment of a small pre-race goal.

“An eventful weekend,” the Yamaha man said. “Some good positives and near-disasters with no points in the first race and a couple of crashes. Overall I really enjoyed the GP with the British crowd and vibe.”

“The track disappointed me because it was really fast and not as technical as I hoped or expected,” he added. “It had been quite wet in the build-up to the meeting so I thought it’d be rougher and slower and better for racing; but you could say that Herlings and Cairoli were having great battles so maybe it worked!”

“Everything was pretty good and we made a few small changes to the bike before the second race which seemed to pay off,” Shaun continued. “I need to get that race sharpness back and race speed and fitness. I guess this is quite normal after injury. I think I did a good job battling with Max and Tommy in the second moto; I really enjoyed that British ‘battle royale’ and was pleased to get back near the top ten. It was great to catch up with family and friends and of course the fans.”

Wilvo Yamaha had straight to the hillside venue of St Jean D’Angely for the Grand Prix of France this weekend.

Photo by Ray Archer