A nasty crash in the opening seconds of the Monster Energy MXGP of USA prematurely ended the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship for Shaun at Glen Helen last Sunday. The British Champion went down near the front of the pack around the first corner of the first moto in the Californian heat and was hit by several riders. The 27 year old was lucky to escape more serious injury but nevertheless was able to confirm fourth place in the world.

A heavy impact to the Scot’s back left him with ‘dead leg’ (“imagine the worst one you’ve had and times it by five…”) and needing medical attention and checks that meant he could not complete the moto and also lacked the fitness and strength to consider the thirty-sixth and final sprint of the year. It was the only blot on the Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM rider’s copybook in what has been an excellent season.

“I just tapped [Gautier] Paulin’s rear wheel,” he said. “It is fully my own move that made it happen; not really my ‘fault’. I hit the deck and from that point on I was at the mercy of twenty-five other guys.”

“Overall it was not a nice way to end the year. I had a perfect season going in terms of points. I’d scored in every round and it was something I prided myself on. I’m a bit disappointed but getting fourth in the championship tied-up was the main goal this weekend. I’m sure with some treatment this week I will be back on the startline next week ready to give 100% for Team GB.”

With Max Nagl also failing to finish either moto in the USA (the German needed two lofty results to depose Shaun from fourth anyhow) Simpson equalled his best championship classification (he was fourth in MX2 in 2008). Awkwardly flying back to his base in Belgium this week, Shaun will now get treatment on the injury and hope to be in good shape to lead Team Great Britain at the Motocross of Nations in Ernee, France this weekend.