LS Honda riders Ken De Dycker and Shaun Simpson endured a tough weekend in Spain as the MX1 world championship visited La Baneza for the first time. The venue for the seventh round of the series provided a curious challenge with a compact, tight layout and stony, hard-pack soil. Although the fast and testing track created close racing, riders were generally disappointed with the lack of line choice and overtaking options.

What turned out to be a disappointing weekend for the Honda Europe supported Belgian team had started very promising indeed on Saturday. It was a crafty De Dycker who snatched an impressive provisional pole in pre-qualifying practice. Not to be denied, team-mate Simpson posted the fifth time of the session. Shaun charged on to take 10th in the qualifying race. After a terrible start, De Dycker’s fortunes did not improve as he was forced to pull out of the race with clutch problems.

Although Keeno had made a point about his speed on Saturday, his race day would be a frustrating experience due to his bad gate position. Starting at the back of the pack the spectacular Belgian made an inspired push to 11th position in both motos. The nature of the track made overtaking even more difficult, denying Ken the possibilities to crack a top 10 finish. After a mediocre start Shaun Simpson progressed through the ranks, attacking wherever he could. From his 10th position on the gate the 23-year old Brit climbed up to sixth but two crashes and a snapped radiator shroud shredded his chance of a strong result. Shaun finished the opening moto in 16th position.


The second moto saw more bad luck for Simpson when he was hit by the crashing Alvaro Lozano. The Spaniard’s rear wheel flipped up and broke the radiator of the LS Honda Racing #24 machine. Although Simpson pitted he was unable to enter the points and finished five laps down.

Ken De Dycker:”Not a good day. It is so difficult to pass guys and it felt like there was no real decent chance of being able to come from the back. We still need to improve in the coming races because it is so important to be in the top five at the start. Saturday was going well but today…it was too difficult.”

Shaun Simpson: “It should have been a lot better. Two bad starts but in the first moto I did a good job in coming through and reaching sixth. I made a stupid mistake trying to pass Desalle and then crashed on my own at slow speed. I ripped the shroud off and just had to ride around for what points I could get.

“I was ready for the second one and must have been near the top 10 but Lozano crashed in front of me and his rear wheel came around and ripped the other shroud off and one side of the radiator. I had no water and had to come in. We changed it and I decided just to go out for a few laps for a bit of extra training or whatever. I can’t seem to get into any of those little gaps inside the top 10 at the moment but we will keep trying.”