The Grand Prix of Czech Republic took place across the hard, slick and fast hillside of Loket for the latest episode of the FIM Motocross World Championship and Monster Energy Yamahas Shaun Simpson was able to post 12th position overall at what was round twelve of sixteen in the series.
Simpson guided his works YZ450FM to sixth place after a decent start from the gate in Saturdays qualification heat. The slot was more than sufficient for one of the longest start straights in the series. After sunshine and hot temperatures on the first day of action Sunday was cooler but still bright.
The Scot made a great getaway into the top five around the slippery and difficult track. He battled in the mid top ten and started to hunt the rear wheel of Evgeny Bobryshev in the closing laps of the first 35 minute and 2 lap sprint, eventually relegating the Russian and securing 8th. In the second race 24 misjudged the gate drop and exited the first turn buried in the pack. He also crashed briefly on the first circluation but then applied himself across the bumpy dirt and reached a creditable 14th.
Simpson is tenth in the MX1-GP standings with just four meetings left on the schedule. The British Grand Prix is next on the agenda and a big home event for the Scot who led the field last year at the flowing Matterley Basin course in the south of England.
It is a tough track here. It was hard to pass, hard to make up time and really easy to lose it. My speed has been OK all weekend and I felt I could push a bit more yesterday here and there. There were a couple of sections of the track where I wasnt too great, particularly the second sector. Today was all about getting a good start and a good jump. I made a great start in the first moto and managed to battle the whole race and overtook Bobryshev with a few laps to go to finish eighth. I was reasonably happy with that. I totally misjudged the second start. There were quite a few guys getting jumpy and almost hitting the gate and I was caught out and rolled forward and had to wait until I could get going. I was behind everyone, slipped off and then fought as hard as I could. I got up to fourteenth and spent a lot of energy trying to pass Soubeyras and Guarneri and when I got a second wind at the end it was too late to do anything else. Overall, a tough one, and not really the results I was looking for but a few positives to take again and to think about. I hope to come out swinging at my home GP next week.