Gauldry’s moto-cross British Champion Shaun Simpson has won two top class international events in the space of seven days.
After owning the fixture at Hawkstone Park in the UK to open his 2016 racing calendar last Sunday, Shaun circulated a one-liney and muddy layout in central France to take 3-2-2 finishes in the three motos and climb the top of the podium.
The Wilvo Virus Performance KTM rider headed to Valence for more pre-season ‘prep’ with only two weeks until the opening Grand Prix of the FIM MXGP World Championship in Qatar.
Even though the weather forecast was ominous for the meeting that boasted another entry list littered with Grand Prix talent the venue held up well under changeable skies and the wintery climate.
Shaun and fiancée Rachel suffered some drama on the trip from their Belgian base when their camper came alight and they had to pull over, semi-abandon the vehicle and then continued south across the border in one of the team’s support vans.
“What a weekend we had,” Shaun said.
“We packed up the camper and headed to the race only to discover when we were near Luxembourg that there were flames flicking up from the driver’s footwell.
“We had to call the fire brigade and had it towed back while we were able to carry on to Valence.”
Slightly singed but undaunted Shaun clocked the fastest and then the third quickest lap-time in the two practice sessions for Sunday’s programme.
Another string of decent performances and form set the base for his result, even if the Superfinal (combining MXGP and MX2 classes) contained a costly mistake for the 27 year old.
“The Superfinal was quite exciting,” he said.
“I got the holeshot and Desalle was hounding me.
“The track was quite one-line but not too bad, it was alright for racing. He then over-jumped quite badly and it seems like he’s broken his arm.
“Townley was pressurising me for a while but then – I think – Jeffrey Herlings took him out and I made a mistake on the very last lap going to the finish that let him beat me; I wasn’t too happy with that but to take my second overall win in the MX2 class was good.”
Shaun now makes his final run-down towards the launch of MXGP at the LaCapelle Marival International.