Double British Champion Shaun Simpson is (virtually) on fire during the 2016 pre-season period after taking his second International victory by owning the MX1 class overall with a 3-2-2 run at Valence in France last weekend.
Simpson added his second trophy in a week after conquering the Hawkstone Park fixture seven days previously but the 27-year-old was lucky to make it to the last Valence meeting at all.
While heading from his Belgian base through France and to Valence south of Lyon, Simpson was rapidly forced to the side of the road with fiancée Rachel after flames starting appearing in the driver’s footwell of his camper.
“We had packed up the camper, got everything ready, had done all our training and headed to the race only to discover when we were near Luxembourg that there were flames flicking up from around the pedals!” the Belgian and Dutch GP winner recounted.
“I used the fire extinguishers but I also had to call the fire brigade and then the police came as well,” the Wilvo Virus Performance KTM rider continues. “Eventually we had it towed back to Belgium while we were able to carry on to Valence after the team came to give us a van. It was a full night shift to drive there and then we had to sleep in the van before warm-up on Saturday. It was great to get another win but it was definitely a fraught weekend.”
Simpson will be aiming for a pre-season hat-trick with a final competitive appearance slated at LaCapelle Marival next weekend before journeying to Qatar for the opening Grand Prix of the year that could potentially have Tony Cairoli and Romain Febvre struggling for full race fitness and Monster Energy Kawasaki duo Clement Desalle and Jordi Tixier on the sidelines through arm and wrist problems respectively.