Shining debut result at Hawkstone for SS24 and Shaun Simpson
SS24 KTM MXGP started life in encouraging fashion as Shaun Simpson celebrated a moto victory and second place overall at a storm-hit Hawkstone International on Sunday in Shropshire.
Feature image courtesy of Ray Archer
Despite ‘amber’ storm warnings for large parts of the UK which swept-in heavy rain and strong winds, the 2020 Hawkstone Park International went ahead and Shaun excelled in difficult and technical conditions to baptise his new squad with a fresh trophy.
The box-fresh awning set-up of SS24 KTM MXGP was busy with visitors and well-wishers (grateful to escape the climate) for the maiden appearance of the multi-British Champion’s team. Recent testing and training in Belgium and Spain boded well for Shaun who faced the miserable conditions and took the second fastest lap-time in morning qualification.
In the first race he seized the lead on the first lap and proceeded to set the pace to the finish, chased at distance by Glenn Coldenhoff and Jeffrey Herlings. After another heavy downpour race organisers decided to cancel the Superfinal third moto and shorten the second sprint to just twenty minutes. Shaun was powerless to prevent Herlings holeshotting and escaping but nursed the #24 machine home to 3rd place. His 1-3 delivered the runner-up spot overall.
“It was a challenge today but also very memorable for a few reasons,” the 31 year old said. “We’ve worked so hard since last year’s Motocross of Nations to be here with our own team and to be competitive so take this first result is a really positive first step. I cannot thank all the people who have helped out on the journey so far and who pitched-in this weekend. It wasn’t easy as a rider – although I’ll admit that I kinda enjoyed the sandy-mud – and it wasn’t easy for everyone who was here giving us assistance. So big credit to them, I hope the result put smiles on faces. A word also for the fans: I cannot believe how many turned out in this weather and they were still leaning over the fence cheering me on. Bring on the British Grand Prix, we can’t wait to go again.”
Prior to the opening round of the 2020 FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship at Matterley Basin (Winchester) on March 1st Shaun will be travelling to the LaCapelle Marival international in France next weekend for his last ‘dialling-in’ appointment.