Injuries are common in this sport. The way in which Shaun Simpson broke his hand at the Grand Prix of Latvia was fairly unorthodox, however, as he did not even crash! Rather than explain exactly what happened, we'll turn it over to what '24' said in our exclusive interview.
MX Vice: First off, just talk us through the injury and what happened in that second race.
Shaun Simpson: Basically I made a little mistake while I was in fifth or sixth and that sort of cost me a bit of time. Everyone was having a go at the double section through the three waves and into that corner. I felt like I had it down pretty good when I was fully committed to it, but I just landed a little bit further towards the right-hand side than I had been the whole moto. It was a bit more wet there where the sprinklers had been getting it.
It just made my back end sort of slide a little bit – nothing too nasty. I just popped off the side of the track, but I was carrying enough speed that my forward momentum just brought me into what was a pole and then wire guide ropes. There wasn’t really much protection on it at all. I couldn’t really see the wire rope and just sort of crashed into it, simple as that. The wire rope just hit my hand and my handlebar.
From there I went to pick up the bike and I thought, ‘that does not feel good’. Basically from then on it just started swelling, getting really sore and then I just had confirmation that my middle metacarpal, so pretty much the same injury as Jeffrey [Herlings], is broken. I had that confirmed here at the track. I’m going to go and see Dr. Claes tomorrow morning to see what needs to be done, if anything. I would presume that, the way the fracture is, it is going to need some sort of plate or pin to get it looking more in line and in a more sensible shape.
With the wire on the pole, do you reckon it would have been fine if that was not there? The crash was not that big?
Oh, absolutely. I didn’t crash! I was still rolling. I just rolled off the track, but I was carrying enough speed and I could not see the wire. Boom, straight into it and then I crashed. Had that not been there I would have just detoured straight back on the track. I would have been absolutely fine. So, yeah, it was a bit controversial. I took some pictures of it and we are going to send an email. There should have been more protection around it or more covering of some sort, but you could argue all day.
There are trees next to the track in Belgium. It is just part of motocross at the end of the day. Nothing is going to take back what has happened to me, so there is no point in getting stressed out too much about it. On a whole it is just a bummer, because we have done a lot of testing and feel like we’ve made a few steps in the right direction. The results were showing that all weekend. I was back up there. Not a track that I like here whatsoever and I felt like I was riding it pretty well. Just a shame.
Even your starts were better and I guess that is probably the biggest thing, because speed was never too much of problem.
We did a whole day of start testing as well, believe it or not. From 10:00 in the morning until about 6:00 at night. It looked like that really paid off as well. In the first moto I was sort of jostling for a top five in the first corner. It is a bit of a tricky one here as it is, but it was nice to be away in that front group. I sort of checked up who was behind me and gapped Van Horebeek and Cairoli towards the end of that first race. I’m not sure if they made any mistakes, but it was nice to see that the speed was there.
Had I been a bit more aggressive and used to running up in the top five I may have been able to pass Bobryshev in the last couple of laps or maybe even get Desalle as well. There was the possibility of a podium this weekend, had everything gone right. I wouldn’t have said that after last night or yesterday, but that is motocross. We have to just get on with it.
Herlings obviously rushed the injury and got back within two or three weeks. How long is it going to take you to heal properly and do it all right?
I think, just looking at the calendar the next few weeks, we have got a week off and then we’ve got Germany and Russia. I don’t know if there’s a week off in-between that [Ed. Note: The GP of France follows Germany, then there is a week off before Russia], but I’ll just come back when I’m ready. I’m twelve in the championship now. There is no major stress to get back. I want to come back and put in some really solid results. We won’t be rushing it. We’ll give it four to six weeks or whatever it needs. We’ll know more on the timeframes after tomorrow when I see the doctor, but we won’t be rushing it too much.
You have got a contract for next year anyway, so I guess that is nice to know.
Yeah, we do. That doesn’t really come into it. I just feel now that I’m in a good place with my bike and I need to come back, put some solid results on the board for myself, show people what I can do and show myself that I can still do it. That was looking like the way it was going to go today and it just didn’t really work out the way I’d planned, but never mind.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX