Great Britain’s three-man team for the FIM Motocross of Nations at Assen in Holland on September 29 will be Ben Watson (MX2), Max Anstie (MX1) and Shaun Simpson (Open).
Team Manager Mark Chamberlain made his selection after carefully studying form, fitness and sand-riding ability. Consideration was also given to experience of the event that’s regarded as the World Cup of motocross.
Watson, who made his successful debut in the MXoN last year, broke his hand in late June but a podium finish on his comeback at the MXGP of Belgium in the deep sand of Lommel at the start of this month convinced Chamberlain to give him the MX2 ride.
Anstie’s skills in the sand, combined with his track record at the event – he won both races in 2017 when the MXoN was held at Matterley Basin – ensured he was always in the running and he sealed his place on the team with a second-moto victory in Lommel.
Simpson’s sand-riding pedigree is widely acknowledged and this, combined with his current dominant form in the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean, was sufficient to earn him the Open class berth.
Mark Chamberlain: “Obviously, Ben, Max and Shaun weren’t the only riders in the running for a place on the team but as well as current form I’ve had to consider how fit and injury-free riders are after a long, hard season.
“There was a question mark with Ben because of his hand injury but he came back strongly in Lommel and, ultimately, when you look at the experience that Ben gained last year for me that’s what swung it his way.
“Max proved beyond doubt in Lommel that he’s one of the fastest sand riders in the world and Shaun’s recent domestic form has been fantastic while other candidates for a place have been struggling with injuries and fitness.
“I’ve contacted all the riders who were in the running and informed them of my selection and to a man they’ve understood my reasoning behind the final team choice.”