The FIM Motocross World Championship visited the old-school venue of St. Jean d’Angely for the 10th round of the 18 round series and the Wilvo Virus Performance KTM duo of Adam Sterry and Shaun Simpson were eager to capitalise on the potential showcased one week ago in Spain, but an unfortunate hand injury would thwart simmo’s ambitions.
Simpson unfortunately broke a metacarpal bone in his hand in the second Spanish moto a week ago and was attempting to push through the pain.
It was quite clear in practice that the risk outweighed the reward so it was decided that he would withdraw from the event prior to the qualifying heat and seek treatment ahead of next week’s British championship round. “I’m at home now and getting treatment to make sure that I’m ready for the next British Championship round,” said Simpson. “I could have ridden this weekend, but it wasn’t worth taking risks on a fast and gnarly track to get a handful of points, if any. It’s a bummer, but we’ll be back.”
The MX2 Qualifying race was certainly eventful for Sterry, who crashed over the finish jump on the first lap and was left with a considerable amount of work to do. To make matters worse, the peak of his helmet was left in an awkward position and the bike was stuck in second gear due to damage sustained in the fall. Showing grit and determination Sterry put his head down and, despite being at a clear disadvantage, made passes to move into 26th at the finish.
An unfortunate incident in the first turn of the opening MX2 moto left Sterry on the ground and with a mountain to climb, as it took him a little while to get going. Again showing good speed while fighting through slower traffic, Sterry managed to make good early progress on a track that is typically tricky to pass on but his forward momentum waned as he dropped to the pace of those around him – 23rd is where he ended up, which meant that he just missed out on more points.
Sterry was able to make it through the hectic first couple of laps unscathed in the final MX2 encounter and then immediately broke into the top 10, before pushing for a position in the top eight. He then swapped positions with those around him for the duration on a track that was at its roughest, before overcoming a small fall to cross the line in 13th and just four seconds down on a former-moto winner in 10th. That was also enough to put him 19th in the overall classification and move him up a position in the series standings to 26th.
“It was a frustrating weekend really with ups and downs again,” Sterry said. “The speed was good again in the timed sessions, but I just need to eliminate the mistakes. I was up against it, as I was starting on the outside in 26th and had a crash on the start in moto one. We fought back in moto two though with a 13th after a small crash. I just need to put it all together and a good overall result will come!”
Team boss, Steve Turner, commented: “It was a frustrating weekend! Shaun suffered a small fracture in his hand in Spain and although he could ride he was so far off the pace it was highly likely he would be putting himself at risk for no points so we made the decision to pull out and for him to immediately return home for treatment.
“Adam had an up and down weekend, his times were good in practice but mistakes cost him dear again in the races. He managed to pull it together in the second race, although another small crash cost him a probable top 10 which would have been just reward for a very good ride.”