Battered and bruised but determined to end a brilliant 2015 international racing season on the works 450SX-F KTM, Shaun today managed a 8-11 scorecard in front of a heaving mass of colour, noise and fans at Ernée for the 69th Motocross of Nations.
Team Great Britain’s excellent odds of making a first podium appearance of the century at the biggest off-road race on the calendar were scuppered on Saturday with Max Anstie’s sensational accident that left the MX2 rider with a broken shoulder and T3 vertebra. Shaun was also nursing a painful knee and arm after his run-in with a backmarker.
A bright start in his first moto for the MXGP British representative delivered an eighth. He was less quick to react out of the gate at the second attempt and had to push hard to reach the top ten. Due to their ‘man down’ status Shaun and Dean Wilson could only position the team in eighteenth place overall. Even one top fifteen result from Anstie on Sunday – and in front of a massive 80,000 crowd (weekend figure) would have given the UK collective the much-sought after silverware.
“We knew the event was up the spout before it started. We pulled off some reasonable results and 33 points between the two of us was not so bad. Frustrating to end such a good year on a bum note really this week and also last week but I cannot complain,” he said. “I set a goal of being British Champion and finishing top five in the world and I achieved both of them. This race was a bonus. It would have been nice to have said “third place for Great Britain” – for a change – but I can only reflect and say a 100% Shaun Simpson would have been a lot better.”
“I will say that the track was unbelievable; it was prepped to perfection. Some might call it a bit sketchy but it was amazing. Look at any turn and there were five or six lines and guys could come through the pack. There was passing going everywhere. As an event it felt like a football match at times. They were signing, airhorns…it was amazing and this is what motocross is all about and it is so nice to see so many people supporting it.”