Ninth place overall for Shaun at the Grand Prix of Germany and a ‘battle worn’ Talkessel, Teutschenthal where caution and concentration was the main game through a rough and technical course for the seventh round of eighteen in the MXGP campaign.
A stiff breeze and warm sunshine tended to foil the best laid watering plans of MSC Teutschenthal and their perennial role of hosts of the German round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, however the old hard-pack west of Halle sprouted more lines and bumps than commonly found and especially after intense criticism of the 2015 edition of the event.
Shaun came to Talkessel to tackle the second of three Grands Prix in a row and immediately set a pace on the fringe of the top five and with options for more consistent results. On Sunday his starts were not spectacular and left the British Champion looking for a route into the top ten during the opening laps and on a course that offered line options but the narrow trajectory was still tough for overtaking.
By the time of the chequered flags of both thirty minute and two lap motos and without much drama or intense rivalry, Shaun survived some sketchy conditions to go 9-8. The 28 year old now holds eighth place in the MXGP standings and is one point behind factory Suzuki rider Kevin Strijbos.
“Nice and consistent…but I’m looking for a bit more; two or three positions up in each race inside the top six,” the Wilvo Virus Performance KTM rider said. “There were signs of speed to do that in the second one but with the way the track turned out there were not many people making much of it. It was like playing on roundabouts today.”
“We made some progress with the bike in some areas and lost in others – mainly with suspension – and we need to make sure we are heading in the right direction and sort the balance of the bike,” he continued. “If you speak to 90% of the people this weekend they were probably also struggling because there was a lot ‘going on’ with the track: deep ruts, crusty ruts, berms, loose sections, rock hard bits.”
“It seemed to be more technical than ever this year but still difficult to pass for some reason,” he added. “I’ve got a good team behind me and we’re all pushing together. Maybe I am being a big hard on myself. I just know that once it ‘clicks’ then we’ll be on our way…we just need to find it.”
The third event in three weeks for MXGP means a trip to Italy and more rough hard-pack with Arco di Trento – in the shadows of the vast dolomite mountain range – hosting the Grand Prix of Trentino next weekend.
Photo thanks to Ray Archer