Not quite was Shaun was expecting at the Grand Prix of Europe today and in a climate that switched from gales to torrential rain to sunshine at Valkenswaard. Some good speed was mixed with three race crashes and delivered eighth overall.
Second place in qualification promised good things for the third round of eighteen and played out in front of a crowd of 23,000 that persevered through the harsh winter conditions. Shaun made two reasonable starts on his 450SX-F but a fall from the fringes of the top four on the first lap of the opening moto required a charge through the pack with a damaged clutch. ‘24’ made very decent progress to recover from last and reach tenth place.
In the second moto another promising launch was blunted by two falls in the formative laps. On this occasion he fought back to ninth. “I came into the weekend feeling under the weather and although I think Sunday promised quite a bit the only reason I can explain the mistakes is through not feeling 100% and struggling to focus like I normally do,” said the 28 year old who won two sandy Grands Prix in 2015.
“I made the starts and the first moto was more like enduro because the track was so wet and slow and you had to be picky with the lines you could find,” he added. “I’m not happy. It has taken me a while to try and shake off this virus and while I felt better today than I have been recently I’m still not right. It has to be a priority to do what we can to be near 100% before we head to Argentina and Mexico.”
In the FIM MXGP World standings Shaun holds 80 points and sits in seventh position.
Another week of recuperation lies ahead before Shaun jets across the Atlantic with the rest of the Wilvo Virus Performance KTM crew for the South American double of Argentina and Mexico on April 10th and 17th.