This month Shaun Simpson has the chance to close three major career goals and the first of which – the defence of his British Championship crown – can be achieved this weekend in the penultimate round of eight at Preston Docks. The Grand Prix of Belgium and the Netherlands winner travels to the sandy circuit with a 116 point lead over Tanel Leok and with just 150 points left to win in the two remaining domestic fixtures in 2015.
Simpson stands a chance of wrapping the No.1 plate for the second year in a row and after Preston Docks will head to Mexico and the USA for the last two Grands Prix of the FIM Motocross World Championship where the 27 year old privateer has a great chance of a top four finish in the standings; a career best in the premier class. September will end with the Scot leading Team Great Britain for the 69th Motocross of Nations at Ernee in France as the country go for their first podium finish this century.
First up is, of course, Preston and Shaun needs to finish in front of Leok to make sure of the title by the end of the second moto and start the momentum. “On a whole 2015 has been a great but personally I think this is just the beginning,” Shaun says. “Looking back at my last three to four seasons I have steadily improved year after year, the goal this year was to finish top five in the world and retain my British title. I look on course to do that and with some promising prospects for next year I would say I’m in a position to deliver even better in 2016. As an experienced MXGP rider – eleven years now – I’ve learnt a lot about my body and right now I feel in the best shape to date. I’ve been working with some new people in 2015 and we’re looking to ramp it up even more next season.”
Simpson leaves his base in Belgium today fresh after more Grand Prix success at Assen last weekend and having doubled up in MXGP this term. “You can’t describe what it feels like to win at the highest level in your sport,” he ruminates. “It’s a goal I’ve been working towards my whole career – just reaching the podium is difficult enough with the level of competition but to reach the top step of the twice in one year is indescribable. It’s recharged my outlook for the future, when I’m at GPs next year I’ll be there to win and not just add points to my championship.”
The effect of the coming four races on Simpson’s career could have a major boost with factory support and material promised direct from KTM. ‘24’ is also expected to announce his plans with regards to a team for 2016 in the coming weeks. “Ending any season on a high or with a championship in hand is satisfying and provides great motivation going into the off season mainly because you know your program is working,” he says. “A few tweaks here and there and you know you’ll be starting the next season on the right foot. It’s always good in tough times during winter season when you’re out training in the snow or crap weather to know that it’s all for a good reason and come Qatar it will pay off.”
Photo courtesy of Ray Archer