Wednesday Sep 23, 2015

Shaun Simpson wants redemption at Motocross of Nations

Shaun Simpson is determined to lead Great Britain onto the podium at the Motocross of Nations this weekend after coming agonisingly close last year.

It wasn’t the first time Team GB have fallen just short at the sport’s biggest international team competition - they also finished fourth in 2010 and 2011 – but 2014 hurt the most.

Britain ended up level on points with Team USA that year in Lativa but, because Simpson suffered a mechanical and did not finish one of his races, the Americans were awarded the bronze medal.

Now, after already achieving one of his season goals this year by finishing in the top five of MXGP World Championships, Simpson is confident he can finally fire his team one step further.

“We are definitely looking for redemption,” he said. “It definitely did feel like it got stolen from us last year.

Shaun Simpson celebrates his British Championship title earlier this year

“We seem to be the best nation at getting fourth, just one off the podium. Last year was definitely our strongest team we’ve ever had. We just came up slightly short.

“Given the team we have this year, we’re definitely due a podium. We always feel like we have an outside chance at a win."

The event, this year hosted by the defending champions France, consists of three races. British Champion Simpson will contest the MXGP class, Max Anstie the MX2 and Dean Wilson goes in the Open class.

Points from all three races go towards deciding the overall winners so every rider needs to perform – but sometimes a little bit of luck goes a long way.

“Last year Tommy (Searle) did really well, Dean held it together and I had a solid first moto but came up short in the second one with the chain breaking,” added Simpson.

“A lot of weight rested on me last year because we were in a position to get a podium in the last race. It seems to be so crucial at the nations to have solid rides at each person.”

As well as potential technical problems, the more obvious obstacles Shaun and the team will have to overcome are the other world class riders that take the starting gates in each race.

Team France includes the new World Champion Romain Febvre and vice World Champion Gautier Paulin and are clear favourites to win on home soil, while Belgium also look strong.

But Team USA have will not be bringing big names like Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto to France this season, which could help as Simpson looks to give the British fans something to cheer about.

“It’s only a matter of time before we get on one of those steps, and give something back to the British public,” he said. “The amount of support we get for this one event is so special. It blows the socks off anything else with the atmosphere.

“The British fans are some of the loudest and best fans out there. They make the most noise and they are great to be around and create a good atmosphere.”

If everything comes together this weekend, and Team GB can take their place on the podium after last year’s disappointment, Simpson will be cheering as loud as anyone.

Team France stand on top of the podium at last year's event.

Channels:, MX