Shaun Simpson LS Racing Honda continued his tough introduction to the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship with just a mere five points to show for his battling efforts at the energy sapping Valkenswaard circuit.
The 23-year-old Scottish rider made reasonable starts in both of Monday’s main races but each time faded as he failed to find his rhythm in the deep Dutch sand. The first moto saw Shaun drop back to 20th while in race two he crossed the line in an equally disappointing 17th spot.
A good showing at the opening round of the Belgian domestic championship last weekend in similar conditions meant that Shaun had headed to the second GP of the 2011 series with renewed confidence after having struggled to convert his speed to actual results at the first GP in Bulgaria just a week earlier. Mid-week adjustments to the LS Racing Honda CRF450R assured Simpson that they had found a good set up ready for the Dutch GP.
Sunday’s initial free practice session seemed to confirm Simpson’s thoughts as he placed seventh with a time just under one minute and fifty five seconds following his 11-lap stint. The young Scot carried this momentum into the pre-qualifying practice period and this time claimed 10th position despite having gone over two seconds faster than his best morning performance.
This was to give Shaun a reasonable gate pick for the 20-minute plus two lap qualifying race that would determine starting positions for Monday’s two main motos. Simpson completed the first lap in eighth spot before giving way to his team-mate De Dycker and reigning world MX1 champion Cairoli. From this point on Shaun rode a controlled race to hold a consistent 10th place as he took the flag which put him in good shape ahead of the main action.
A lowly 21st position in morning warm-up for Simpson was to signal the start of a bad day for the rookie MX1 rider as his campaign proper once again failed to get under way in the manner in which the LS Racing Honda teamster had hoped. Both 35-minute plus two lap encounters brought a similar story for Shaun, as each time he made a promising start before dropping back through the pack as he tired on each occasion.
Utterly disappointed, Shaun had little to say post the second moto. “It’s definitely a day I want to forget as soon as possible. There are no excuses, I simply tired badly in both races and was physically sick at the end of both races too. I don’t want to dwell on today, instead I just need to start to work on the next race, next weekend when hopefully I can have a better day.”
Simpson will contest the second round of the Belgian series next Sunday where he will look to build on the third spot he secured at the opening event of the domestic championship earlier this month.