Motocross

Simpson fifth in Belgium

Simpson fifth in Belgium

Ray Archer

Shaun Simpson made a welcome return to form when he placed fifth overall at the second round of the highly competitive Belgian domestic championship. Simpson, who had struggled aboard his LS Racing Honda at the Dutch Grand Prix just six days earlier, looked more like his old self as he placed 6-5-4 over the three motos and improved on his performance each time out.

The old fashioned style circuit seemed to suit Shaun’s more traditional riding style from the off as he placed third in the morning qualifying session behind Desalle and Guarneri and ahead of his team-mate and previous round winner De Dycker. Round two of the series took place at a temporary Meganck-Collewaert track set in a sand quarry in Beervelde.

Simpson got the racing proper under way with a holeshot that put him out front of the first moto momentarily until he was out-powered by Desalle and then De Dycker. Despite this the young Scot settled into a good rhythm and fended off the hard-charging Guarneri until later in the race. However, a mistake by Shaun in one of the tight hairpin corners saw him lose valuable places as he fought to untangle himself from the metal fence, leaving him down in sixth at the finish.

Race two was much the same story for the LS Racing Honda teamster as once again he lost the front end – this time on a faster berm – and in doing so lost ground to his rivals. With Nagl out of the picture due to a reoccurring injury the damage on this occasion was less severe with Simpson placing fifth in the second moto.

Shaun left his best ride to last taking fourth spot in the third and final outing of the day to show that after the disappointment of last weekend in the Dutch sand his season is very much back on course. After two rounds of the series Simpson now holds fourth place in the general standings and is within touching distance of third spot as just one point separates him from Guarneri.

“It was a tough day,” says Shaun. “I enjoyed the racing but the bumps and lines were so different to what we are used to. In the first moto I was fourth until I made a mistake and went into the fence. In the second moto I crashed at the back of the track – at that time I was fourth and so Leok managed to squeeze by.

“My start was good in the final moto but I did not have the speed to stay with the fastest guys. When Guarneri passed me I wanted to follow him and to get him back at the end of the race. Unfortunately he put in two very fast laps when I had two bad laps. Okay, the result could have been better, on the other hand we’re moving in the right direction. We did learn again about the bike and set-up. So it’s onwards and upwards from this point.”