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Simpson sits out next two GPs

It should have been a great weekend. Shaun was back on Grand Prix duty for the first time in five months for the first of three rapid-fire outings at the Kegums circuit in Latvia. Despite the eroding effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, MXGP had somehow managed to resurrect but with a strict protocol in place and with limited public attendance in eastern Europe.

The Grand Prix of Latvia – with a new one-day format – did not go to plan for the Scot, who had spent time filming a revealing team feature on the eve of round three of the series and which aired during the live TV broadcast. The first moto across the rough and ‘sharp’ bumps ended before mid-race distance when Shaun had his front wheel clipped by another rider, damaging the front brake and wheel. The second race also result in an early DNF with a crash and the need for medical attention for the multi British Champion.

On Monday morning Shaun made the heavy and regrettable decision to withdraw from the Grands Prix of Riga and Kegums (on Wednesday 12th and Sunday 16th of August) to return to Belgium for check-up.

“I hit the side bank at an awkward angle in the second moto crash and suffered a big blow to my back but I also knocked my upper body and neck,” he said. “I woke up stiff and sore this morning but also worried about a few aches internally. We had a talk about what to do and with the next Grand Prix in two days I don’t think I could so myself or the team justice just to be trundling around outside the points. I need to get checked-out, and it means there is no time to be ready how I’d like to be for the next race. I’ve gone to the gate injured and in pain before in my career but this feels different. I know myself and my body by now to know that I wouldn’t be competitive and MXGP is the toughest I’ve ever seen it. Making even the top-ten now is a good result.”

“Obviously ‘gutted’ doesn’t come close to describing how I’m feeling. I’m also disappointed and angry. I feel bad for our sponsors but I’m hopeful that MXGP will move onto the step of the calendar and we can come back in a good way. There are some excellent tracks for us ahead and my focus now has to be reaching 100% again.”

Photo: JP Acevedo