Grand Prix of Belgium winner Shaun Simpson is eying more Lucas Oil AMA Pro National Motocross appearances in the future after his excellent fourth position overall as a wild-card at Unadilla last Saturday.
The 27-year-old Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM athlete is the top privateer in MXGP once again this season and is currently unbeaten in six rounds of eight in the Maxxis British Championship. After his success at Lommel and rumoured 2016 contract with direct factory support from Austria, Simpson was given assistance in New York by Roger De Coster and the Red Bull KTM crew who are chasing the their second AMA crown of the year with Ryan Dungey.
Despite the fact that Simpson has had a busier schedule than practically all of his MXGP rivals with his British commitments and other International appearances – and leaving to Unadilla barely 24 hours after his first ever 1-1 triumph on the Lommel sand – #24 insists he would go transatlantic again. “I would definitely return to race an AMA in the future,” he said exclusively from New York.
“In fact I would make it a yearly thing. I have to bring up the fact again that things were made so easy for me to come over and ride by the level of support I received from KTM and KTM USA the respect of Roger [De Coster] and the help from the whole team really made me feel like one of their own for the weekend. I just had to pack an Ogio gear bag and come over to do my ‘work’. It was a privilege to ride over here and an experience I’ll never forget. I enjoyed it so much that I’m already thinking about planning next year’s trip.”
The Scot and first pick for Team Great Britain at the 2015 Motocross of Nations at Ernee in September was the first MXGP rider to rip American soil since Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos took advantage of the cancelled Mexican GP in 2013 to appear in the AMA competition.
This meant he was poised to gain some insight into the different styles of the series. “I think the way the AMA tracks are prepared suit my style more but the intensity from the get-go is a little higher,” he says. “Having said that, this is made easier by the sheer choice of lines on the track and the options you have on the first laps. You can sweep outside, cut inside and run 3-4 guys wide on any part of the track. In MXGP we find mostly that there is one fast line or groove that all the riders take and creates a little train the first few laps so it’s hard to push the intensity without making aggressive moves and then making errors that cost you big-time. The riders in Europe are fast and the riders in the U.S. are fast too…”