A 13-8 for Shaun today under hot Swiss sunshine and at perhaps the standout Grand Prix of the season so far. 45,000 fans at the new rutty, rough and challenging Frauenfeld circuit north of Zurich gave Switzerland a rousing and noisy welcome back to the FIM Motocross World Championship after a fifteen year absence and for what was the fifteenth round of eighteen in the rapidly closing 2016 campaign.
A mediocre start in the first moto meant that Shaun’s options on the Wilvo Virus Performance 450SX-F were restricted as he circulated the hard-pack terrain but with plenty of grip, ruts and technicalities to contend with. He rode to thirteenth spot after a fight with Tanel Leok. The Scot seemed to make a better job of his getaway and opening lap in the second race and was then tussling with the likes of Jordi Tixier and warding off Belgian GP winner Kevin Strijbos to secure eighth. ‘24’ ended up in eleventh overall and has the same position in the MXGP Championship standings; just two points behind Strijbos.
“I think it was the first lap. My start did not seem to be any better in the second moto but I avoided the carnage compared to the first. It was nice to get back in the top ten in that second one,” he said. “It felt better to end the weekend on a better result and I should have had two top tens but I haven’t been doing too much practice on this type of ‘going’. As an event I think it was really good. The track was decent even though it started to dry out a bit too much today. It was still technical though and I enjoyed it. There was a nice atmosphere.”
“Overall it was positive to get two more motos under my belt and to keep building,” he added. “We have a little gap now until the next British, then Assen and I’ll be working hard to be 100% for that and the final three GPs. I know it is late in the year but we are still pushing hard to get back inside that top five and the top ten of the championship. I want to salvage a couple of good races from what has been an up-and-down season.”
Simpson is next in action with a planned appearance at Keiiheuvel for the Belgian Championship next bank holiday Monday and then followed by the penultimate round of the British Championship at Preston Docks before MXGP gathers for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands at Assen on August 28th.
Photo by Ray Archer