Shaun appeared in the fresh edition of Dirt Bike Rider and the last to be published in 2014; a fitting dedication to what has been an excellent season for the 26 year old.

Speaking about elements of his year that has included a first MXGP podium, a second British title, Motocross of Nations disappointment and coming so close to a top five championship finish, the story was accompanied by a special photoshoot with Ray Archer by the Forth Bridge. Grab hold of a copy at any half-decent newsagents. In the meantime here’s a small slice of what can be found in the feature…

Shaun on…

Never shy of an opinion and often thoughtful with his words we decided to ask Shaun’s perspective on a range of rivals and topics.

On Gautier Paulin…

He is just so naturally talented on a bike. A lot of people would say De Dycker’s height is a hindrance but I don’t think there is much difference between Ken and Paulin. However the way Paulin moves the bike around is amazing to watch. It seems effortless. His ability comes through on the jumps and rhythm sections and he uses it to his advantage all the time. The amount of people – myself included – who say “you cannot pass on jumps”…well he’ll probably say the opposite! Everyone was jumping that big double in Thailand this year but that was only because we went there knowing it was possible because he did it last year. It is those sorts of things that make the difference with him because he is that confident and has been honing his skills. On the other hand he’ll do whatever it takes to be at the front and if that means taking a wheel somewhere then I don’t think he means it but he is going to win races. We are all trying to do the best we can on the track and he might need to have a bit more respect sometimes.

On how Ben Watson will fare in his first GP year…

I honestly think he will do well. He is a natural talent on a bike and is young enough to absorb what he needs to. He is willing to learn and to work hard. He is still quite grounded because he has been brought up well by his family. They work hard. He’s a bit like Herlings in that he’s not scared to go practicing three or four times a week and before a British Championship round he’ll be riding on a Saturday which a lot of people wouldn’t do. I like that; rocking-up at 8pm because he’d been riding in the day and will then go into the first practice session with dirty boots from the day before. It’s old-school and it works. He’s also a nice kid to work with.

On more flyaway Grands Prix…

People might be surprised to read this from me but I enjoy the flyaways. I guess it is something a bit different for me. If you are the kind of rider that flies to most of the GPs then it is routine but the flyaways are the ones I have to fly to and do the hire car and hotel process. We go to different places and see different tracks and I like that. It is a bit crap sometimes if there is no crowd or we go to a brand new circuit that is not even tried or tested and we’re the guinea pigs. On the whole I don’t think four or five non-European rounds are bad at all for the series. Maybe eight or nine is too much. It is fun to pack the bike into the crate and then see it again in a country on the other side of the world and have to build it all up. As a rider I would say the flyaways are a good thing but I know how much work and money goes into it to take us there and how much of an effort and squeeze it is for our team to get to them. You even have contract clauses now where if you are not in a certain position in the championship then you know you won’t be doing the last couple of rounds of the year and that’s hard to take.