Nursing his broken right hand Shaun had a positive day at Desertmartin to walk the final step of the podium at the fourth round of eight in the Maxxis British Championship today.
The defending number one had undergone a week of laser treatment and other remedies to try and fix the bone in his right palm with a view to gaining some points and guarding his lead in the series. An unstable climate (“the weather was a bit of a shame for the fans” he commented) did not help matters around the quick and shallow Desertmartin sand but Shaun was able to find enough strength and feeling to slot into the leading group through both MX1 motos. The 28 year old began proceedings in Northern Ireland slightly unsure of his potential after being forced out of the Grand Prix of France last week due to the injury and then having a light test on the bicycle on Friday.
“The cycling and mountain biking was not really beneficial in terms of understanding how my hand would be today,” he said. “So when I went out for practice in the morning I wanted to gauge how it would feel, and straight away I thought ‘shit, this is worse than I expected’. We altered the [handlebar] grip and the painkillers started kicking-in and I managed sixth in qualifying which was good enough on quite a quick track this morning. The track prep was good as always at Desertmartin and I’ve spent a lot of time before in Ireland so it was great to feel such support and see a lot of old faces.”
“I got a decent start and rode quite a solid race in the first one,” he says. “I think due to the adrenaline and stuff my hand did not feel as bad as it did in qualifying. I struggled in the last few laps to stay in front of Brad [Anderson] and that was a bit of a shame because I probably could have finished second. The main news was that Tommy [Searle] went out with a mechanical [problem] so I knew we gained a lot of points. I was quite happy with fourth then.”
“In the second race Jake [Nicholls], Tommy and Graeme Irwin got away and I knew I did not have the pace to follow them with my hand and I battled it out with Brad. I ended up with another fourth – so two for the day – and the last spot on the podium. I didn’t expect to finish third and certainly did not expect to increase my lead in the championship.”
4-4 for third place was a satisfactory outing in the circumstances and gives ‘24’ a 21 point cushion in the contest at the halfway stage. It was a decent meeting for the Wilvo Virus Performance KTM team as Shaun’s team-mate Adam Sterry went 1-1 in the MX2 class for his first major victory of the season. “All around it was a great day and now I’m looking forward to another week of treatment and recovery to get in better shape for my home Grand Prix,” Shaun said. “It was great to see Adam winning both MX2 motos as well.”
The British Grand Prix at Matterley Basin will take place next weekend in Winchester.