The vast gap in the 2019 MXGP schedule caused by the rearranged Grand Prix of China allowed Shaun to focus on the ACU British Championship and earn acclaim in the popular Thomer-La-Sogne International in France.

The FIM Motocross World Championship lies dormant until the fifth round of eighteen takes place on May 11-12 at the Mantova circuit for the Grand Prix of Lombardia but Shaun has kept active with his RFX KTM team. He finished level on points with Tommy Searle for victory at Lyng in Norfolk for what was the second fixture in the 2019 British Championship (the second domestic race in a row that #24 was hampered by a technical issue) and then headed to Thomer-La-Sogne as a late entry for the sizeable meeting close to Paris.

“It was a bit of a last minute thing! I decided ‘why not?’” he said. “The weather was great, the crowd was great, the track was a big tight but technical. It was something that the British Championship can learn from because the atmosphere was ace.”

Against a smattering of MXGP peers Shaun was fastest in Timed Practice and took Super Pole honours before coming through a long race programme with scores of 2-1-1 to walk the top of the overall podium. “A long day, but a really great day. I’m happy we went.” The Simpson family packed Shaun’s practice bike back into the camper and ended the trip across the channel with a swift visit to EuroDisney.

There is little time for fantasy for the 31 year old with the third appointment in the British series fast approaching. On May 5th Simpson will star at Canada Heights in Kent “one of my favourite tracks on the calendar” he said, and one of the closest MX venues to central London. Shaun goes to the hillside site with the red plate as championship leader as he bids to claim his third crown in the premier class of the national competition.

There is then a short wait for more Grand Prix action. After a great run to another secure top ten finish at Arco di Trento last month MXGP gathers again on Italian soil (or sand more accurately) with the compact site in the centre of the city of Mantova causing start buttons to be thumbed in anger once more.

Photo thanks to Ray Archer