Shaun emerged from the Grand Prix of Trentino and the third MXGP in as many weeks with a reasonable if undercooked eighth position overall. The Scot could only manage an 11-10 in slick conditions at Pietramurata and continues to search for the optimal base setting on his Wilvo Virus Performance KTM.
Rain on Saturday, sun on Sunday. The splendour of Arco di Trento was conditioned by an unstable climate for the eighth round of eighteen in MXGP this year and some promising feeling and speed from practice and qualification in the Italian ooze on Saturday did not transpire to much on Sunday for Shaun. The fast and stony hard-pack was slower and more technical for the Grand Prix motos in what was the fourth edition of the Trentino fixture. The 28 year old made a better start in the second moto by tucking up the inside of the tight right hand second corner but the thirty minute and two lap chases were more an exercise of attrition for the British Champion as he strives to find his mojo this term.
“Another difficult weekend to be honest and I’m just struggling with the set-up of the bike in some shape or form and I’m not too sure where to start either,” he admitted. “We’ve been chopping and changing in the last few weeks with suspension, gearing and engine and got a bit lost and there hasn’t been much help from the factory. So we need to knuckle down and sort it out as a team.”
“I felt good yesterday and things were working well but today when it got slick, hard and choppy I didn’t have the same confidence on the handling side-of-things. We changed the set-up again with the engine and gearing between motos for the second week in a row – which isn’t ideal – and I’m searching still for that base setting,” he went on. “Overall it was another consistent day but not with the points I am looking for. I came up quite short today with eighth overall. It is frustrating not to have the speed at the start of the moto…or even at the end of the moto, which was the case in the first one. It was tough to get on the pace of the top six guys today let alone the top three or four.”
“I will try and take whatever positives I can from today and try to eliminate the negatives for next time,” he concluded. “We have Hawkstone next Sunday, which should be a bit more to my liking and we have a couple of weeks to work towards Spain as well. Everybody is right behind me and I just need to get comfortable and start putting the results in that we deserve. Everyone’s hard work will pay off at some point.”
‘24’ also sits eighth in the MXGP standings and fifteen points behind Kevin Strijbos.
A hike through Europe now lies ahead for Shaun and all the way up to the UK where the third round of the Maxxis British Championship will take place at Hawkstone Park and where the ‘24’ will again wear the red background as series leader.
Photo thanks to Ray Archer