After holding off Justin Barcia for much of the MXGP class Qualification race, Shaun Simpson looked to be having a good day. And then…
Shaun kept AMA 450MX championship runner-up Justin Barcia on his back wheel for the second half of the moto played out on the compact, narrow and rutty circuit with a ‘wall’ of fans and noise filling the adjacent hillside. On the last lap a slower rider moved across at the same time Shaun took off for a double jump on his factory KTM and the pair collided, sending ’10’ tumbling to the floor. With a sore left arm and knee – and damaged rear brake – Shaun managed to remount and complete the race in twelfth.
Team Great Britain had a hard day at the 69th edition of this event with a capacity that already touched 30,000 with more spectators expected to fill the venue tomorrow. Max Anstie also had a run-in with another rider that was far more spectacular and damaging. The Kawasaki rider was given medical treatment for a broken shoulder and the hopes of the squad for a podium finish was dealt a swift blow.
“After the frustration of the U.S. Grand Prix and then being unable to avoid that guy in the air I just want to get out and have two races tomorrow,” Shaun said. “Two top fives in both outings would be fantastic but after the last week I just want to finish the year on the bike and getting past that chequered flag. It hasn’t worked out for us today – again at the Nations – but all Dean and I can do is try and give a good account of ourselves tomorrow and try to enjoy it.”