Shaun will sit-out the Grand Prix of Latvia in Kegums this weekend in order to gain a few more precious days of recovery for the three cracked ribs and chipped pelvis he sustained in the practice smash in Russia two weeks ago…

#24 has been working and rehabbing to get back into shape after the Orlyonok get-off and another small setback in an interrupted 2018 MXGP FIM World Championship that reaches round seven of twenty in eastern Europe. Shaun is eying the Grand Prix of Germany at Teutschenthal next week as a possible return date on the Wilvo Yamaha.

“The goal was to start chipping away at that top ten in Russia but then getting cross-rutted between those jumps and tumbling down the hillside didn’t help at all!” he says. “Three cracked ribs and a chip on my pelvis was not ideal. Thankfully the doctors said that the fractures were not dangerous. As long as I can handle the pain I can ride but that’s not what I’m worried about at the moment; it is the thought of re-fracturing the rib somehow and prolonging time to race. I want to give it a reasonable length of time so that everything is strong and I can come back and ride GPs and try for some reasonable results. To come back and ride around for anything less than a top ten finish is not relevant or important to me.”

“I’m taking it a day at a time at the moment and seeing what I can do and how the body is reacting to the treatment and the training I am doing,” he added. “I’m keeping active and doing some swimming, cycling and everything that I can; some movements are more tricky than others and walking with my hip is still difficult and getting in and out of the bed with my ribs is hellish but there are small gains every day. We are just trying to find the best solution.”

2018 has been something of a slog so far. After a broken hand and snapped arm in 2017 Simpson was hoping for a better run of fortune this term. So far he hasn’t had much to cheer. “It has been a tough one trying to get the ball rolling,” he sighs. “I felt like I had a flu/virus at Redsand [Grand Prix of the Comunitat Valenciana] and was coming out of that when I hurt my shoulder in Italy which meant another couple of weeks off the bike. I felt we were coming into some better form at Portugal with two results at a time when I thought I wouldn’t be able to race. I wanted to build on that by resting my shoulder a bit more and then having four days of solid, hard-pack riding before Russia. Anyway, I want to put this behind me because I feel physically well and sharp, full of energy. If we can get over this one then I really still feel I have a lot in me to show.”

Shaun is now focussed on constructing an effective second half of 2018. Discounting Latvia, there are still thirteen grands prix on the slate and various Dutch Championship and Benelux events to contest. 2018 represents his second term with the Wilvo Yamaha squad and Shaun has integrated well into the Dutch set-up run by Louis Vosters.