Points in just one moto for Shaun at Matterley Basin and the British Grand Prix as 2021 MXGP now begins to gather pace.
The weather swung from hot and sunny to cloudy and showery at the second round of the FIM Motocross World Championship and a return to the well-crafted and popular circuit of Matterley Basin east of Winchester.
Shaun wheeled out the SS24 KTM MXGP set-up in front of an eager crowd limited to 4000 spectators due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions in the UK. MXGP is moving quickly and swiftly through dates and countries as the calendar picks up pace and the one-day race format adopted from 2020 remains in place, meaning the 32 year old Scot had to negotiate Free and then Timed Practice to secure 26th position in the start gate featuring a downhill drop and rush to the first left-handed corner.
Under grey skies Shaun ripped away in the first moto and battled on the fringe of the top ten, pushing hard to scrap for 16th (from 35 runners) and 5 championship points. In the second race, and under showers that caused the English soil to be slick and awkward to judge, he lost his rhythm slightly and dropped out of the points to 25th.
“Part of me is disappointed, especially with running out of some steam in the second moto but I knew from my riding in the British Championship these last few weeks that it wouldn’t be an easy day here at Matterley,” Shaun said. “The track was different and hard to get a feeling. It wasn’t as technical as I hoped it would be and the Timed Practice format is really something we must improve. We’re not helping ourselves by being so far off the pace for the one lap. Anyway, we’ll keep building. We knew these first GPs would be about scoring points and finding our feet. I don’t have the impression that we made much forward progress at this race but it can sometimes be difficult to keep the upwards curve. A bonus was racing in front of the fans again. It was a shame we couldn’t welcome them around the team and in the paddock but it really helped to have that vibe in Matterley. Let’s get back on track in Italy now.”
SS24 KTM MXGP move immediately to the continent and south to Maggiora for the Grand Prix of italy next weekend.
Photo courtesy of Ray Archer