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Home for Simpson

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It doesn’t seem that long ago that Shaun Simpson was winning GP motos and leading the World MX2 championship. Truth is because it wasn’t really. Since his days as a Factory KTM racer the wheels, if not fallen right off his career, have certainly come loose. Well now it seems the nuts are done back up tight and Simpson is doing his best to make up for lost time and distance on the journey towards race wins and championships.

Now he looks a lot more at home on the British based Monster Energy/Bike it/ Cosworth Yamaha team and he validated that when we caught up with him recently.

Vice: Riders can change teams but that doesn’t always feel like the fresh start. Does it feel like that and does it help being back on a British team?

SS:  I think so. Although the communication with LS Honda was fine and they all speak good English it still creates difficulties, I think it’s more of a culture thing than a language barrier. It does make it easier being amongst fellow Brits, you don’t have to speak all proper for starters! You can give feedback better and now this team have better resources than ever before it definitely feels like a fresh start for me and not just another switch of team. I don’t think it’s unfair to say LS Honda were unorganised and to be honest I don’t think they have the budget to run a GP team. Looking back on it now and experiencing it, it’s no surprise Ken (DeDycker) left the team. I think it’s been spiralling out of control for a few years. I spoke with Tanel (Leok) who rode there in 2010 and he said he wasn’t happy when he was there. It turned out rather than going to the line on a competitive bike I was lining up on close to a stock bike which anyone will know is just not good enough at GP level. Now I’m sat on a bike that I know I can grab holeshots on and compete at the sharp end. The bike is fast and fun to ride.

Vice: You live in Belgium so how does it feel coming back to race the Maxxis British championship and do you think that works to your benefit or disadvantage with GP preparation?

Coming back and doing the British is a good thing because there’s some fast riders in the UK that don’t race GP’s, having said that it’s the same at the Belgium or Dutch championships, so either way it’s not that easy to be up front and the traveling isn’t that far so it’s no problem in that respect. The British championships are probably a bit better for me because I know the tracks and I’m on more of an even playing field and it’s always good to ride in front of more of your supporters. I got to be honest it’s nice to win a race at home and be in contention. It’s given me a boost for the GP’s where I have to compete with the best. The race format at the Maxxis is okay for the fans but as a rider I’d rather have two motos like the GP’s. The three motos make it easier to catch up in a championship because there’s more points to be made up in a day but if you’re leading a championship it makes it harder because you have to get three clean starts and stay out of trouble and we all know how hard that can be.

Vice: Do you think your confidence has taken a knock over the past few years?

Yeah definitely, I’d agree with that. I feel like I’m finding it again though. I knew last year was going to be tough moving up to MX1. I didn’t expect to come in and win motos like Steven Frossard, I knew it would be tough but little did I know the machinery would make it even tougher. I was happy with my pace most of the time but I couldn’t keep it up because I felt I was pushing it to get the best out of the bike, but at the same time I learnt a lot. Now I know I’ve got a good bike under me, the support from Yamaha, from Steve, Monster, the whole team it gives me that platform to get back to my previous form. It’s not only about how I ride or feel, it’s about how the team is feeling too and I feel very much at home already in that sense. If you’ve not got that feeling from the team, it’s easy to lose motivation and ask yourself what you’re doing it for. When you come back from a bad race and you have your team on your back but in a positive way it makes a huge difference.

Vice: You no doubt get asked this question every year but what the hell, it offers a good insight into your head. What are your expectations and do you have a target you want to hit?

I don’t like to set targets because sometimes you find yourself setting unrealistic ones because you want to do well but then when you don’t hit them you can get really pissed off and down on yourself. Having said that I’m a motocross racer and I want to win and if I’m in the hunt for a moto win at any point I’m going for it and letting it hang out! If you’re running in the top three after 15-20 minutes then it’s not by luck, you’re on pace so you then have to seriously consider pushing for the win. If you’re dropping back then you do what you can to stay on and get the best position. When I won my first GP moto at Valkenswaard it felt like one of the easiest races of my life, I thought ‘how could this be possible?’ I was doing easy laps and still gaining time, so when it feels like that you can push for wins. Realistically I want to be running in the top 10 every GP, I know I said I don’t like to set targets but I feel that’s something I can achieve and so far it’s going good. If a top five or podium is there for the taking I’ll push for it rather than settle that’s for sure.

Vice: Sounds like you’ve got a game plan and you’re relaxed, but do you still get nervous as a racer?

Yeah! I think most people do and if they don’t then maybe they’re not as focused as they should be. You love it so much and you put so much effort into it and it comes down to that moment. I think with the adrenaline for that moment nerves are hard to fend off completely. Sitting on that start line at GP, it’s 40 minutes ahead of you, it’s the best guys in the world beside you and you’re one of them, so get out there and show everyone what you’ve got because everyone is watching. If you’re not just a little bit nervous about that you’re either ridiculously cool minded or you’re not committed enough.

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Impressive Second for Benistant at MXGP of Trentino as Bonacorsi Delivers Career-Best Result

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Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Thibault Benistant returned to form at round four of the MX2 World Championship with an impressive runner-up finish at the MXGP of Trentino. Adding to the team’s success in Pietramurata, Italy, was Andrea Bonacorsi, who delivered a stunning career-best result of sixth overall in front of his home crowd. At the same time, Rick Elzinga put in a hard-charge for ninth overall.

In Race One, Benistant got off to a great start and ran third before passing Sascha Coenen on Lap 12. Continuing to ride with a high pace, the French sensation closed in on the eventual race winner, Kay de Wolf, during the final laps of the race and crossed the line just under four seconds adrift of victory.

Another strong start in Race Two saw Benistant quickly engage in a battle for a place on the podium. Holding fifth until just past the halfway point of the race, Benistant capitalised on a mistake by Mikkel Haarup and moved into fourth. From there, the 198 chased home his teammate Bonacorsi and secured fourth for second overall. As a result, he has regained third position in the MX2 Championship Standings.

Bonacorsi, spurred on by his passionate home crowd, delivered a career-best race and overall result in Pietramurata. Despite having a rider fall in front of him at turn one, the 20-year-old put in a spirited ride through the field to finish 12th in Race One.

In Race Two, ‘Bona’ emerged from the first corner in second and immediately gave chase to the early leader. After slipping to third on lap seven, he maintained his impressive pace and kept the position to the flag. Following his breakout ride, Bonacorsi maintains 12th in the championship chase, but has closed the gap to the top 10.

One week on from his impressive sixth-place finish in Sardinia, Elzinga carried that same speed and momentum into round four and placed fourth in Race One. An unfortunate crash at the start of Race Two gave the Dutchman a lot of work to do on a circuit that proved challenging to pass on. Maintaining his razor sharp focus, the 44 fought back to 13th, which was enough to maintain ninth position in the MX2 Championship Standings.

The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in Agueda, Portugal, on the weekend of May 5th.

Click here for all the results from the MXGP of Trentino.

Thibault Benistant

 2nd MXGP of Trentino, 40-points

 3rd MX2 Championship Standings, 148-points

“It wasn’t an easy weekend for me despite being on the box. I rode well, but there is still room for improvement and to show what I am really capable of. I know my speed can be better. Of course, I’m happy to finally be on the podium for the first time this year; it’s a big step in the right direction. But I want more, so we will keep working. It’s still a long season.”

Andrea Bonacorsi

 6th MXGP of Trentino, 29-points

 12th MX2 Championship Standings, 83-points

“Today I was able to show what I can do with a good start. I know I can run up front in MX2 and I proved that I can in race two. I’m really proud of myself with sixth overall and now we’ll keep working and focus on the next race in Portugal.”

Rick Elzinga

 9th MXGP of Trentino, 26-points

 9th MX2 Championship Standings, 110-points

“I’m not a ‘hard-pack’ rider, but I tend to ride well here. I felt good on the bike all weekend and put in a really good ride in Race One after making a mistake. I really pushed and made it all the way up to fourth. So, I was happy with that. In the second one I had another good start but in turn one a few of us crashed and my bike got tangled with another rider. It took two laps to catch the pack, but I kept pushing and ended up in 13th. My speed is good, and I’m happy with my riding, so we’ll keep working ahead of Portugal.”

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The MX Vice SMX Review Show Episode #22 – Lars Lindstrom

HRC Boss talks about their amazing 2023 season

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In 2023, MX Vice is running a regular SMX Review show, where we talk all things AMA, frequently with a star guest or pundit. This time Ben & Brad are joined by Honda HRC USA Team Manager Lars Lindstrom, talking about the red team’s amazing 2023 season, his time as Chad Reed’s mechanic, and his riders’ plans for the Motocross of Nations!


Images: HRC Honda


Lars (crouching with his arm on the front fender) has enjoyed a great year with his team in 2023

Massive thanks to Lars for joining us and we wish you and your team all the best for the rest of the year!

This podcast was recorded prior to the Washougal National, so apologies for the delay and for the few sound issues.  None of these were caused by Lars or his systems. Enjoy the podcast!



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Live Results – AMA Pro Motocross Round 6 – Southwick

Practice Times & Race Results from The Wick

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The action is underway at Southwick for round six of the AMA Pro Motocross series. Will Jett Lawrence dominate again, and how will Hunter fare after his issues at RedBud?

Featured Image: HRC Honda

This page will have all of the results from The Wick. The results are posted in an easy-to-view fashion, with the latest results at the very top of the page. If you do not immediately see the most recent results, hit the refresh button in the top-right corner and then the issue should be rectified.

450 Updated Championship Classification

450 Overall Results

450 Moto Two

250 Updated Championship Classification

250 Overall Results

They said the sand might suit him! Tom Vialle takes his first overall win in the USA, and the 250 wildness continues through the pack as the red plate changes hands for the first time in either class this summer!

250 Moto 2

450 Moto 1

250 Moto 1

450 Consolation Race

Just for British fans, SC Sporthomes Husqvarna rider Charlie Putnam finished 19th in the Consolation Race after not making the cut in Qualifying.

250 Combined Qualifying Times


450 Combined Qualifying Times



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