Agueda, Portugal this weekend for Shaun and straight into round six of MXGP after the boggy sand of Mantova. SS24 is looking to regain points lost in Italy.
“I feel that the weekend under-delivered,” said the British Championship leader on the Grand Prix of Lombardia last weekend that took place in the rain-soaked Italian sand of Mantova where another overall top ten result in the premier class went begging with a mechanical glitch in the second moto. A combination of some subdued form in the first moto (9th place), a first lap crash in the second and then the RFX KTM stopping with less than two circulations to go meant a hard day for the 31 year old.
A chance to recover some of the points that trickled away into the Mantova drains will come tomorrow and Sunday with round six of eighteen in 2019 MXGP following hard upon the Italian ‘mudder’. For the third year in a row Agueda brings the FIM World Championship to the Iberian Peninsula and – if the weather throws a card onto Shaun’s deck – then it could be a venue where the Scot plays an attractive hand.
“It is a pretty decent track for me and last year I loved it,” he recalls. “A few days before the GP the ground had been ripped deep and then it had pi**sed down: there must have been more than twenty ruts in some of the corners. There was a bit of me written all over it…but unfortunately I went there with a big infection in my arm. I think I went 12-12.”
“It will all depend on prep and I hope it will be nice and technical,” he adds as currently the highest ranked British rider in the MXGP standings. “I’m looking forward to going and I’m looking for redemption after last week because I felt like I lost some points that I didn’t deserve to. Top six-to-seven this week is a must. I’m trying to keep my feet on the ground and I think that mentality has helped keep me relaxed and has helped with some good speed this year.”
Shaun finished 11th overall at Agueda in 2013, missed the Grand Prix through injury in 2017 and managed 11th again twelve months ago despite more physical problems. The Portuguese appointment is the second fixture of a busy sixteen-week consecutive run of races for #24. MXGP heads from the west of Europe to the west coast of France and the popular St Jean D’Angely circuit next week.
The first MXGP moto takes place at Agueda at 15.00 CET.
Photo by Ray Archer