Just one week on from an eventful outing in the USA, the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP squad tackled the power-sapping sand of Assen at the Grand Prix of The Netherlands. Assen has been rather kind to Shaun Simpson in the past, as he won a moto in the premier division there just last year, so he was eager to roll out onto the circuit aboard his 2018 YZ450F.
The qualifying heat was an eventful affair for Simpson, as a bout of poor luck forced his charge to end prematurely. A crash on the third lap caused him to withdraw from the heat whilst in eleventh, much to the dismay of those who travelled across from Britain, but thankfully the start at Assen is one of the fairest on the calendar. ‘24’ was eager to regroup and focus on the motos, with that in mind, as conditions were supposed to be much more pleasant.
A poor start threatened to hinder Simpson in the first of two motos, as he started on the cusp of the top fifteen, but he refused to back down. The sandy circuit of Assen was gruelling and caught out many talented riders, but he used his experience to excel and push forward. Eleventh was the position that he eventually acquired at the chequered flag. Just half a second sat between him and a position in the top ten, however, so it was quite clear that he could have achieved much more.
Unfortunately, the second and final MXGP encounter followed a similar pattern. Simpson was caught up in a crash on the first lap and then had to work his way forward from outside of the top twenty, but he once again showed the determination that has made him popular worldwide. Seven moves were made by Simpson throughout the race, which kept the fans entertained, and he ended the race in thirteenth. He also occupied the same position in the overall classification. The eighteen points gained on the day helped him maintain his grip on seventeenth in the championship.
The FIM Motocross World Championship will come to an end next week, as the final round will take place at the old-school circuit of Villars sous Ecot in France.
Shaun Simpson: “I felt like we made some gains this week, but it unfortunately did not provide us with much extra in the races today. The qualifying race yesterday was really bad, as I ended up on my ear on the concrete and damaged the bike, so we reset ourselves for today. I should have really been ninth in the first race, but ended up eleventh. In the second moto I ended up getting caught up in the carnage in the second turn and fought the entire moto for a couple of points. It was just quite frustrating.”
Words: Press Release | Lead Image: ConwayMX