Monster Energy Yamaha were again searching for the black cloud of bad luck that seems to be following them through the early phases of the 2012 FIM Motocross World Championship. The Grand Prix of Mexico represented the fourth round of sixteen in the series and was taking place just two weeks after Michael Leib had steered the YZ250F to second position in Italy.
In hot and difficult conditions in Guadalajara Leib and Shaun Simpson both joined the injury bench occupied by Zach Osborne and Arnaud Tonus. The American had gained pole position on Saturday across a dusty and demanding track and after a qualification heat in which most of his peers elected to sit out on ground of safety. Leib took the plunge and rode a strong race for first choice in the gate.
Sadly his first moto on Sunday – run across a softer, wetter and less dusty surface – was over before it had begun as the twenty year old clattered into the back of a falling Mexican rider and dislocated two fingers on his right hand as a result of the impact. Leib entertained the idea of trying to compete in the second race but the pain and swelling ultimately forced his withdrawal.
Simpson was also an early race casualty. The Scot collided with David Philippaerts on the first lap of the opening MX1 moto and briefly dislocated his left shoulder in the spill. The 2011 Belgian Champion went for a scan at the local hospital but an early prognosis is not too bad and there is a slim chance he might be able to compete in Brazil next week.
Round five will take place at Beto Carrero for the fourth Brazilian Grand Prix in four years. A better idea of the Monster Energy Yamaha line-up for the fixture will become clear in the coming days.
Steve Dixon, Co-Team Manager:
“Michael hit a backmarker who had fallen in front of him and dislocated his fingers. He was sixth at the time and unfortunately that finished his race and day, which was really disappointing. Shaun was also in sixth at the start of the MX1 race and collided with David on a jump. It was no-one’s fault. They just touched and lost balance. Shaun unluckily dislocated his left shoulder. We’ve had a terrible run of luck. This is part of the sport but you don’t expect this sort of thing to happen all at once. We’ve been doing this a long time and we keep bouncing back. We have good people around us and we will keep on focussing on the next races. Hopefully Shaun won’t be out for long and we’ll see if Michael can be in Brazil. We’ve got everything ready for Beto Carrero and now we will have to sort something out during the week.”