Shaun finished tenth overall at Losail for the first round of the FIM Motocross World Championship after posting results of seventh and fourteenth in the two floodlit motos for the Grand Prix of Qatar. It was certainly an eventful first MXGP outing for the British Champion. Simpson lost out on sixth place in the opening sprint after a small slip let through Romain Febvre just three laps before the chequered flag. The second race saw ‘24’ nail another good start among the leaders but his race was practically finished before it started as a rock smashed the lens out of his goggles on the third corner. Barely able to see, Shaun had difficulty on some of the bigger jumps and his race wasn’t made any easier by Jose Butron smashing into his side heading down the pit-straight section of the wide, fast but very bumpy and rippled track. Nursing a painful foot Shaun lost a few positions and then slipped off the 450SX-F on the last lap.
“I’ve never had a race like that,” he said. “ I cannot believe how many things happened to me in the first twenty minutes! I enjoyed the track but it was tricky. I was unlucky to get that rock flying at me in the first seconds of the second moto. It meant it was hard to see, hard to overtake and hard to judge some of the jumps. Basically it was a hard second race. Butron wiped me out something proper and I really thought I had broken my foot; thankfully the x-ray afterward showed it was OK. It took me a while before I could see though. Tenth overall on the strength of the first race but I could and should have had top sixes tonight. Some good starts though.”
The Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM rider will travel with the team across to Thailand and the new layout at Nakhonchaisri for round two this week.