Although Wilvo Virus performance KTM’s Shaun Simpson was once again the highest placed British rider in the MXGP class at round eight of the 2016 FIM World Motocross Championship he wasn’t overly happy with his performance in Trentino.
Meanwhile, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie had the pace and rode well in MX2 but a crash destroyed any hopes he had of making the podium – he too went home disappointed…
It’s not uncommon for Simpson to head the rest of the Brits abroad and in the eight GPs held so far he’s only once been bettered – by Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle at round five in Leon. Simmo continued that same form in Trentino running consistently in race one to claim 11th as Searle fought back from a first turn crash to follow the Scotsman home.
Simpson improved one place to take 10th in moto two but he wasn’t happy. “I’ve been struggling with my set-up for the last couple of weeks actually and I just never got comfortable all weekend,” admitted Simpson who finished eighth overall adding 21 vital points to his championship total. The Maxxis red plate holder currently sits eighth in the FIM series standings.
Things got no better for Searle as he crashed out of the second moto when running 17th. “I proved again that I’m as fast as anyone in the timed sessions,” said a frustrated Searle, “but I just can’t get a start with this bike and when you’re stuck in the pack you’re always going to touch with someone.”
Searle’s 12-33 scorecard is only good for 18th overall on the day and ultimately Arco is another GP to put behind him. After Trentino Tommy sits 11th in points with a grand total of 139 – seven in arrears of Glenn Coldenhoff who currently rounds out the top 10.
Jake Nicholls was another lamenting what could have been: “I’m happy with my speed,” he said. “I was running with Bobryshev but a cable somewhere must have got damaged in all the bumping on the opening laps and the last few laps the power was gone – I almost pulled out in case it cut out on me on one of the drop offs.”
For moto two Nicholls had to settle for two points on a spare bike which genuinely was a ‘spare bike’.
Max Anstie rode as well as anyone out there taking himself from 11th to fifth in the opening moto but found himself in the wars again in moto two. “I ran into the back of Adam Sterry when he fell at the start,” Anstie explained. He worked his way up to 16th from dead last which gave him 10th overall and means he is on 183 points in the standings to just keep a hold of seventh.
“I was really confident going to the last moto,” added Anstie “It was a shame I couldn’t get a good start. I felt I did everything exactly the same as I’m always doing but just didn’t get enough speed going into the first corner. Regardless of that, the last few weeks have been really good and I can go back now, regroup and go again in Spain.”
Sterry had been the revelation of race one but he didn’t get far in race two. “I’m making progress,” said Sterry. “I could hang on to Jonass and held off Seewer for 15 minutes. I started riding tight after that but kept it going until the last few laps.”
Moto two wasn’t so impressive. “I didn’t even make it to turn one,” claimed Adam. “I’m just glad my hand’s still there – I had a bike on top of me and a finger of my glove was completely ripped off.”
Sterry’s eighth in moto one helped secure a respectable 16th overall for the GP.
James Dunn was consistent but just missed the points in each race with a 23-24 for 28th overall. “I’ve got to learn to race the GPs. I was riding consistent lap times but some of the others are going crazy for the first few laps and then fading back after 10 minutes,” said Dunn.
Conrad Mewse is another Brit learning the MX2 GP ropes and he too was consistent in Arco ending up just outside the points with 26-27 finishes.
Coming straight from six months of supercross on a Honda it was never going to be easy for the nomad of British motocross, Paul Coates. He failed to record a lap in moto one but hung it out for 27th in moto two on his guest ride for ifly JK Yamaha.
Luke Norris was the only Brit in the European championship – after Mewse’s jump from EMX250 to MX2 – but failed to score points in either race going 22-27.