A (swollen) handful points but crucially no major injuries for Shaun after a scary second moto smash at Leon for the Grand Prix of Mexico from which the Scot had to digest his first DNF of the season.
Shaun continued his love-hate relationship with the flat, fast and hard-pack facility in the park area of the city in the region of Guanajuato and the site of round five of eighteen in MXGP this year. In 2014 he was forced to withdraw from the inaugural event due to a shoulder injury. 2015 delivered a strong second position overall and one of three podium finishes that season. The 2016 edition ran in higher temperatures thanks to earlier scheduling in the year and meant a strange mix between watered and slick soil and deep, treacherous and hard ruts that gave the course a perilously technical edge.
The Wilvo Virus Performance KTM rider’s weekend did not get off to the best beginning. “I didn’t get-on amazingly with the track on Saturday and crashed through the rollers, hitting my ribs and head pretty hard,” he says. “My starts on Sunday were not amazing and that were pretty important around this track. It was a lot faster than last year and with the higher temperatures the lines became crisp and hard which caught a few guys out; like me in the second moto. In the first one I was eighth and the second race was looking good for a top six finish.”
Content with the outcome of the first race Shaun felt relief of a different kind in the second after a mistake, crash and then sickening collision saw the 28 year old fortunate to walk away from the accident.
“I had just passed Cairoli after the rollers and got one of the berms wrong and went down on my own,” he recounts. “I got flung away from the bike and as I got up I was slightly disorientated and did not know where the bike was or where I should run to and as I turned round [Alessandro] Lupino was fully committed into the corner and – for want of a better word – drilled into me and into my right and left arm that I’d put out to try and protect myself a bit.”
“Both of my wrists are swollen and my hands are pretty sore,” he adds. “I took most of the impact to my right bicep and my right leg is swollen. Overall I’m pretty battered, bruised and pissed off that I didn’t manage to finish the race. I’m lucky to get away with that one. I’ll rest up these next few days and hope to be riding before heading out to Canada Heights and try to get the ball rolling in the right direction.”
“I’m eighth in the championship table but only a few points behind [Kevin] Strijbos and it is anyone’s game up to third in the standings at the moment,” the British Champion evaluated. “I’ll turn the screw next time out in Latvia and hope for a few solid GPs in the top five. You never know where we will be come the middle of the season and pushing on towards the end of the year.”
Most of Shaun’s calendar can now be focused around one continent and an intense schedule of European events will start to fill the summer months. Up next is the second of eight rounds in the 2016 Maxxis British Championship at Canada Heights in Kent next weekend and then three MXGP events in a row in Latvia, Germany and Italy.
Photo thanks to JP Acevedo www.mx1onboard.com