A great Grand Prix, track, venue and bumper crowd at Villa la Angostura formed the Argentinian round of the 2015 MXGP schedule but Shaun was disappointed to leave a dramatic event with just nine points for his troubles.
The powdery soil in this region of Patagonia was a head-scratcher and Shaun was one of many searching for optimum traction through suspension tweaks and tyre profile experimentation.
On a chilly Sunday SS24 ripped a fantastic holeshot in the first moto to open his account in the Fox sponsored competition but was unable to set an effective rhythm while running in the top three. A great but short fight with Ryan Villopoto led to a fast crash and Simpson then had his work cut out to reach fourteenth. The British Champion started well again in Moto2 but luck was once more absent from his side. A small touch with Suzuki’s Glenn Coldenhoff on the first lap led immediately to a shredded rear brake hose and Shaun leapt up the hill to find he had no stopping power and smashed straight into HRC’s Evgeny Bobrysev; an incident that took both riders down.
Simpson continued riding the moto with just one brake and could only tally an eighteenth place for his troubles. He is now twelfth in the MXGP standings and looking for better fortune this weekend at Lyng, Norfolk for the second round of the Maxxis British Championship.
“The whole weekend, and even back to Thailand, I felt like I had so much more to give,” he said. “I don’t mean ‘in the tank’ because I’m giving everything I have out there but I feel better – and I am better – than I am performing. And it is frustrating. We haven’t changed our set-up or anything so it should be on-point. We just have to take it on the chin. The positives were the starts and the first one was a holeshot; it was great to have that black plate. The second one wasn’t bad either and I think I was third or fourth. It is good to have them dialled-in and we’ve found a few things out about the starts in the last couple of weeks. I did tense-up in the first moto and crashed pretty big on my own when I lost the front. I ended up seeing stars. It was stupid. I got a bit better by the end of the race and pipped Nathan [Watson] for another fourteenth. In the second one I was sure I could get in the top ten and despite everything that had happened in the first moto I felt pretty good. I lost my rear brake on the first lap and ended up ploughing into Bobryshev. You get tracks where you can ride without your back brake but this wasn’t one of them. I was fighting a lost cause from the beginning and it was so frustrating coming up to Butron and those guys and having to brake much earlier with the front. So, I still have so much to show and it is tough to make the long journey back with just nine points in the bag. It is not all won or lost in these flyaways though.”
Photo by Ray Archer