Shaun was forced to motor to sixteenth position in the qualification heat for the Grand Prix of Lombardia at Mantova today. The Grand Prix of Belgium winner was holding fifth place until a run-in with Todd Waters led to a bent gear shifter and the Scot was stuck with limited power on his works 450SX-F.

Simpson steered the factory bike for the first time in practice and qualification in hot August sunshine and was looking sharp for a top five result in the Italian sand until disaster struck and he was powerless to prevent dropping down the order.

“I was really looking forward to riding that bike today and was putting in the laps in the race behind [Gautier] Paulin until we had that bad luck,” SS24 said. “The gate pick is not the best for tomorrow but I feel good and I’m ready to go again.”