With the 2010 season over Shaun Simpson is all ready making plans for next year, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to catch up with the young Scot to understand what has been and will be happening in his life over the winter months.
Q: It’s been nearly a month now since you had the operation on your left shoulder to repair the damage caused by the crash you had at the Brazilian Grand Prix – how is the recovery going?
SS: “The recovery has been going really good, and I have time on my side at the moment, although I would prefer to still be messing about on bikes at this point of the year. I have had to have my arm in a sling for three weeks, so that has not been that much fun, but for the last week I have started to use it and it feels good, with no pain or discomfort. After another two weeks of taking it easy I can then start to work with it and should soon have the full range of movement back pretty soon. I would like to think I can be riding again by mid December back in Scotland.”
Q: With your shoulder now on the mend, we believe you are about to go under the knife again, this time for any operation on your left leg – can you explain what you are having done?
SS: “It’s always been on the cards to have the titanium rod removed from my left tibia, which was put in back in April 2009 after my big practice crash that kept me out of action for most of that season. It’s quite a routine operation where they just quickly remove 2 screws and pull the pin out and I should be back on my feet the following day. The tibia has fully healed now and to prevent any other complications in the future it’s best to have it removed sooner rather than later.”
Q: Having been forced to have some time away from the track lately, we understand that you recently took time out to visit your new team – how was your initial meeting at LS Honda?
SS: “It was great, really relaxed atmosphere which is just what I need. We had a talk about the bikes and which products we will use before checking out the workshop where my brother will spanner for me again, this will be his fourth year as my mechanic. I’m feeling really positive about the bike and what it offers in the way of power and handling. I’m sure I can feel safe and go fast on this bike, it’s also nice to have a change and to have a different challenge.”
Q: So a new team for 2011, and we also hear that you have a new base in Belgium too – what can you tell us about your new home and why you have decided to move?
SS: “For the past two years I have had an apartment close to the KTM workshop, but it was on the first floor and there wasn’t enough space to park my camper etc. I have now moved to a house five minutes from the track at Lommel. The new house has its own garage where we can work on my training bike and generally feel more organised. After a month of painting, joinery and plumbing we are now ready to head home to Scotland for a couple of months, knowing that everything is done.”
Q: This week the FIM confirmed the 2011 World Championship dates, what are your thoughts about next year’s GP’s and what is your plan between now and the first round going to be?
SS: “The GP’s are normally based on the same tracks, which is a shame in some ways, but on the other hand as I will be entering my seventh season of racing at this level, I now know most of the tracks well. I’m feeling confident that everything will be sweet. A couple of the dates are a bit strange, but I’m sure it will sort itself out and we have back to back weekends in the USA and Brazil so that should be cool. As far as my plan goes I’m going to have a break until the end of November so I can spend some time with family and friends in Scotland. Then I will train there for about six weeks with the physical side of things before starting riding in early January. I will change a few things this year to be ready for the big bike, but generally my plan is the same as previous years.”
Q: There are some rumours that we might see you racing back in the UK next season – does that story carry any fact?
SS: “I would love to return to the UK to race, so we are looking how we can work some British races into my schedule. I have missed riding at home over the last two years, but as far as committing to an entire championship, as yet I don’t know. We will have to see if the dates are suitable and plan from there.”
Keep up to date with Shaun’s season on his official website at www.shaunsimpson.com