MXGP’s top privateer Shaun Simpson is increasing his inflating stock as one of the leading contenders for a factory Grand Prix saddle for 2016.
The Scot produced a remarkable performance at the fifth round of eight in the Maxxis British Championship last weekend that underscored his 18 month dominance of the UK series.
Simpson has been closely watched by Kawasaki, Suzuki and KTM bosses for potential works equipment next season and his chase from a crash and last position all the way through to victory at Blaxhall, Suffolk last Sunday was another feather in his cap.
The 27 year old beat the 2014 Motocross of Nations winner Steven Frossard both on the track and for the overall top step of the podium to go five-for-five in Britain and lead the series by 84 points.
In MXGP Simpson has been regularly troubling the top five on a 2015 450SX-F (compared with the AMA-title winning ’16 model used by Red Bull KTM’s Ken De Dycker) run through the Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM crew, with whom he has an option to continue for 2016.
With current factory riders like Clement Desalle, Evgeny Bobryshev, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Kevin Strijbos, Glenn Coldenhoff, Todd Waters, Dean Ferris, Tommy Searle and upcoming Jordi Tixier all yet to confirm their spots also, the paddock could very soon be set for a big merry-go-round and Simpson is also sitting on the carousel. His emphatic charge on Sunday will also have gained plenty of attention at a crucial time for talks.
“That was just the never-say-die attitude kicking in. I knew I needed to win that final moto to have the ‘overall’ and after I went down and started again in last place I also knew I’d have to give absolutely everything I had in that race,” said the Scot who has become renowned for his consistency and sand skills. “What began as a difficult day turned out to be really satisfying.”
In other news for the Brits, Tommy Searle has been back in the saddle of the Red Bull KTM 350SX-F and is in contention for a return to Grand Prix this weekend for round 11 in Sweden.
Frossard’s team-mate Wilvo Forkrent KTM’s Jake Nicholls also competed at Blaxhall and the former MX2 ace is waiting on the all-clear from a broken arm recovery process to make his first GP appearance of the season.