17th place overall for Shaun at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands and the fourth date for 2021 MXGP.
The relatively ‘hilly’ sitting of Oss hadn’t welcomed the FIM Motocross World Championship into the dark sandy circuit confines for 23-years…but the fourth round of 2021 MXGP was a landmark date for the venue.
After some doubts over the event thanks to revived restrictions in the wake of the worsening state of the pandemic in the Netherlands, the Grand Prix finally went ahead with a decent public attendance and in sweltering conditions as northern Europe baked in a heatwave. Temperatures in the high ‘20s meant hard and heavy work in the two 30 minute and 2 lap motos, and around a track of shallow sand that became increasingly rough, bumpy and energy-sapping.
Shaun started the day with 20th position in Timed Practice for the same gate pick. His starts with the KTM 450 SX-F were marginally better than in recent weeks. He reached as high as 12th in the first moto but struggled to establish his rhythm in the formative stages of the race. After losing ground Shaun, running FXR’s new 2022 Helium gear, finally crossed the line in 16th. During the second outing the Scot was again on the periphery of the top ten and was performing at a better level as the track carved up. The 33-year-old placed 17th for 17th overall. Shaun holds 19th in the championship after four of eighteen dates.
“A tough day,” he said. “I couldn’t really get going in the first moto and by the time I started cutting my own lines and making progress I was too deep into the race. The result was not too good – 16th – but the second one was a lot better. I was up to 11th at one point but then needed to tag on the faster guys. I got tired a bit today. I feel a bit behind some of the others at the moment and we need to get back to the workshop and dig-in. I was happy with the bike and we just need to work to catch-up.”
“The track conditions were pretty savage,” he added. “So hard. Normally I would enjoy it! But I was missing a bit in the tank. It’s frustrating…but it’s also motivating to get back and work harder. It’s been hot and hectic but I think it was a successful event.”
SS24 KTM MXGP ploughs full-on with Grands Prix in Czech Republic, Belgium and Latvia in the next three weeks and some serious mileage for the small crew.
Photo courtesy of Ray Archer