As the first European MXGP gets underway at a rainy Valkesnwaard we decided to post some slightly different interview questions with Shaun that popped up in online publication www.ontrackoffroad.com recently…
What other sport or activity is as exciting as motocross and why?
Probably Downhill Mountain Biking. But then I would say that. For me it’s probably the fact that it’s still got two wheels and you could get the same intense adrenaline hit that motocross gives me. It’s really physical, mentally tough from a concentration point of view and bloody good fun. I think in general something that still gets my heart rate going: enjoyment and a set of handlebars.
What inspires you and why?
Inspiration for me can come from anywhere or any sport. Just watching a sporting ‘great’ or someone else at the top of their game achieve their goal makes me want to go out and achieve mine. Ultimately though, inspiration has to come from within… Deep down you still need the desire to win and the dedication to work hard to reach the top.
What was the last film where you thought ‘good one’?
Last album bought and last one that you really enjoy?
Calvin Harris’ one
Why don’t you listen to music in the gate?
I’m not really a massive music person. That’s not to say that a good tune doesn’t get me in the mood. I have tried it before and it can get in the way of chatting to your mechanic just before the race or going over the fine details of the bike. It may be something that you see me doing more this year though… Watch this space.
Why so relaxed before a race? Many riders don’t like a chat…
I think that’s totally individual. I have always been quite relaxed before a race, I would even say that chatting relaxes me and makes me feel more comfortable. Some riders like to get in the ‘zone’ which I totally understand, but for me you can start overthink things which isn’t good either.
If no ‘24’ then what number and why?
Probably ‘54’ as it was my first proper number back in the 85cc class in Britain (2001) It was my first full season as a schoolboy and I remember cutting out the numbers by hand myself!
Best piece of advice from Simpson senior…
‘If you’re feeling good, watch out’ Ultimately meaning, when your riding well and feeling invincible, make sure you don’t become complacent and make a mistake, have a crash or get injured.
Last time the ‘waterworks’ came on…
Men aren’t supposed to say that they cry! Probably leaving Rachel back home in Scotland at the start of 2015 when I moved back to Belgium and knew I wouldn’t see her for a couple months. The long distance relationship was hard for us but it’s great to finally be living together now.
Worst injury and which one gives you the most problems now?
I’ve had my fair share of injuries to be fair. I’d say the worst one was breaking my tibia back in 2009 but the one that gives me the most gyp now would be my right foot that I broke back in 2003. I totally smashed the navicular bone causing the arch of my foot to collapse. It takes me about five minutes each morning to get warmed up and I find myself hobbling about like an old man….
A race when you were most ‘in the zone’?
Easy – Assen 2015 first moto. I was really ‘up’ for the race and thought I could win, I wanted the win…. I got a great start and was about 4th on the first lap. Then I binned it, putting me back to about 9th or 10th. From that moment on I zoned out and got to work…picking off everyone to win. Pretty satisfying race…
Strangest fan interaction?
Matterly Basin 2015 – Two crazy British fans ran on to the track mid-sighting lap wearing only Union Jack underwear and holding British flags showing their support for me! Made me smile… (There is a picture on my Facebook)
Favourite and least favourite rival and why…
Everyone on track is a rival as far as I’m concerned. Everyone that races fair is a good rival. Anyone who doesn’t is probably nothing to worry about anyway.
When you get married in October will it be in a kilt and will it be a custom job?
Yes I will be getting married in a Kilt most definitely. I will get one custom made for my wedding, which will be nice to keep and use in the years to come for other special occasions. The real question remains to be asked though? Am I a real Scotsman? The answer…. Off-course.
Photo by Ray Archer