Shaun Simpson is hoping to be one of the few British riders in the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship and is actively planning to establish his own Grand Prix and British Championship race team fielding KTM and WP Suspension equipment. The 31 year old will leave the confines of RFX KTM – a squad he helped establish for 2019 – and race under his own ‘SS24’ banner next year.
The veteran has struggled with the set-up of his race machine as well as basic technical issues in the last rounds of the current campaign and after recovering from a broken hand that forced to Scot to miss five Grands Prix in the mid-part of the season. Exasperated, Simpson has decided to tailor a racing operation around his needs and return to the modus operandi that served him brightly in 2014 and 2015 for GP success.
“I have almost fifteen years experience in the world championship and still totally believe I have the speed and the knowledge to run as high as possible in MXGP; definitely to get in amongst the factory boys,” he said. “Now is the time to do things the right way that will allow me to do my best on the track. For what feels like many reasons it simply hasn’t happened for me in the last month in MXGP but we have already taken some steps to reorganise and make sure we’re in the right direction for the Motocross of Nations and the last British Championship round.”
“Thanks to the people involved at RFX KTM, but I know I can keep progressing in my career if we make this move,” he added. “It will be far from easy but I can count on great support from KTM and it’s a brand that is a natural fit for me with the most competitive equipment. It’s exciting. We’ll start small but we want a high level of presentation because we know what sponsors and fans will expect. We’ll try to do things a bit differently as well with some ideas at races and through social media.”
“The goal will be a strong world championship campaign, the British title and a few surprise race appearances and then who knows where the team will grow for ’21,” he added.
While the second half of 2019 has been sparse for top ten results, Simpson has shown proven pace: toasting 8 wins from 14 races in the British series (although he could miss out on the championship due to a double DNF because of technical problems at former Northern Ireland GP site Desertmartin) as well as top three classifications in national Dutch and Belgian meetings against Grand Prix rivals. He has not achieved the starts nor the consistency to hit the mark in MXGP, much to his frustration.
“It’s been one of the hardest periods of my career. It has been a bumpy ride the last three years with injuries and team and brand changes,” he reflected. “It’s time to reset to some ways that I know will deliver the results and put a smile on my face again.”
With Max Anstie yet to confirm an MXGP saddle for 2020, Tommy Searle allegedly considering a British Championship berth and Adam Sterry as yet unfixed for his first year on a 450, Simpson is one of potentially dwindling UK stock as Matterley Basin, site of the British Grand Prix and one of the most popular tracks in Europe, remains absent from the ’20 schedule.
Simpson, who is the last privateer winner of a premier class Grand Prix when he triumphed at the 2013 Grand Prix of Benelux with a stock Yamaha, is likely to run as the sole rider in the new team but is beginning to confirm the scale and full ambition of the project.
Words: Press Release | Lead Image: Ray Archer
Kevin Horgmo and Valentin Guillod confirmed for SR Honda in 2024
Exciting times ahead.
Shiptocycle Honda Motoblouz SR have announced their rider line-up for the 2024 MXGP season, as they’ve retained the services of Valentin Guillod following an excellent season, plus added exciting Norwegian Kevin Horgmo, who’s making the step up to the elite class from MX2.
Next year looms as an intriguing campaign for all involved, as Guillod will be looking to build on his ninth placed championship finish in MXGP while Horgmo will be eager to hit the ground running in his quest to adapt as quickly as possible to the premier class.
“We are happy to have two good riders in the MXGP class for the 2024 season with Kevin Horgmo and Valentin Guillod,” the team’s statement read.
Lead Image: SR Honda
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Lit Kit Gallery: MXGP of Great Britain
The best from round 19.
Check out some of the freshest fits, helmets and more from the MXGP of Great Britain. Lead Image: KTM – Ray Archer.
Photo credits: Red Bull KTM – Ray Archer / Nestaan Husqvarna – Full Spectrum / Yamaha MXGP – Full Spectrum + Eva Szabadfi / JM Honda / Kawasaki MXGP / Yamaha MX2 – Full Spectrum / HRC MXGP
MXGP of Great Britain: Rider Debriefs
MXGP and MX2 stars share their thoughts.
Read what a host of MXGP and MX2 riders had to say about their respective weekends at the MXGP of Great Britain.
Tim Gajser: “It’s great to finish this season with a victory. It is a massive confidence boost heading into the off-season and also for 2024 so I’m very happy to win and to go one-one and just have fun riding out there. The track was difficult in that second moto, but I enjoyed it once I got out front, got a good gap and could see where the riders were behind me. I’d like to thank all my team for all their hard work and all their support when I wasn’t at the races. This victory is down to all of them as well and it is really nice just to leave the last round of the championship with the win.”
Jeremy Seewer: “Today was a good day. It was solid. I am happy I had two solid motos. I had a fall yesterday, which upset a cut on my elbow from a fall I had last weekend and just hit the ground quite hard, so I thought it would be very tough for me today. It was not easy today. I just wanted to survive, and I ended up doing really well. It was a pity I lost third place at the end of Race Two, but it didn’t matter for the overall. I am happy to finish this year strong, and now looking forward to ‘The Nations’.”
Romain Febvre: “I was feeling really comfortable today and I had a really good start in race one but I touched with someone in the first turn and dropped to sixth. A few laps later the back wheel slipped out in a turn and I lost some time but I came back to finish less than six seconds from the winner so I was happy with my speed. In the second moto I passed the other guys to finish second; Tim was too far away but I was pleased to end the day on the podium again. My results were OK in the first quarter of the year but I was just missing the podium each week; then from mid-season I was really consistent with GP wins and podiums nearly every week. I had more GP wins than anybody else, including five-in-a-row. I now have two silver medals with Kawasaki so let’s keep working to go one better next year.”
Glenn Coldenhoff: “I definitely have some positives to take away from today. We have been working really hard on the starts lately, and then today, I took two holeshots. Race One was tough. I had the guys pushing me from behind all moto long, and then I made two silly mistakes myself, which cost me. I was not very happy with that. In Race Two, I was just off the pace, and I don’t want to make excuses, but my back hurts a lot from hitting that big quad every lap. It’s a shame I didn’t finish on the podium, but overall, fourth is solid. Although, I did want to get a medal, and fourth is so close yet so far. Still, a lot of positives to build on for next year. Now, I’m looking forward to ending the season strong at the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations.”
Ruben Fernandez: “I’m very happy to get third in that final moto. I kept with the riders in front and just put in consistent laps, trying to keep the tow and not make any mistakes myself. It was difficult early on in the race, but to come back to third, just a second behind second place was proof to myself that I deserved to be there and I’m on the right track to really be amongst the podium spots all the time. I must also say congrats to Tim for winning the GP and to the whole of Team HRC for a great year. We won the first GP and the last GP and had a lot of good moments in between and I really enjoyed working with everyone. The Nations is up next and I’m heading there full of confidence.”
Jorge Prado: “It was nice to race and not think about the championship! I was able to enjoy the moment. This season has been a dream come true. Thank you to the Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing for all the hard work this year. We did this together.”
Jago Geets: “I’m proud of what I did today, and I am proud of my whole season. I came back from two injuries, and it was still a good season for me. This weekend was not easy, but in the end, especially in the second race, I felt good on the bike and on the track and won the second race. It’s nice to end my MX2 career with a win. Now, I’m looking forward to moving to the 450cc, which I will race at the Motocross of Nations, and hopefully, I will have a good season next year.”
Simon Langenfelder: “I won the qualifying race and the first moto, but the second moto was not the best. To come back after injury is never easy, so I am happy that I did that and could take third in the championship. I am looking forward to the Motocross of Nations and then we will focus on 2024.”
Andrea Adamo: “I still need a couple of days to think about the last week. It was very short! I’m really happy right now. The whole season was a challenge; to put almost twenty races together. I was the most consistent rider and that really helped me to reach my goal. For next year we will make a good plan, hope to have a good winter and I want to be stronger in 2024.”
Kay de Wolf: “It is nice to end the season on a positive note – it has been an up and down year! It would have been nice to stand on the podium, of course, but we can carry this momentum into the Motocross of Nations and the off-season. Thank you to the team for sticking by me.”
Thibault Benistant: “I could take some positives and some negatives from this weekend. I think I missed some race intensity because of the rounds I missed. But, overall, I had good speed; I just struggled to push at the start of the race. Now, I’m looking forward to building for next season.”
Roan van de Moosdijk: “Seventh overall is not where I want to be, but it is good to end with a solid race. Thank you to the Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing team for everything that they have done for me – I could not have asked for more from the guys here.”
Kevin Horgmo: “I made a good start around the outside of turn one in the first race to hold sixth but I made a small crash on the second lap when the front wheel slipped away. It took me a few laps to find my rhythm again after that; I was strong again at the end with eighth and ninth just ahead of me but it was difficult to pass and I couldn’t get by. I made another good start around the outside in race two but I was making too many mistakes on the first lap as the surface was so slippery after they watered the track and I lost my confidence for a few laps. I eventually got into my rhythm again to finish eighth but I felt my speed was good enough for better. That was the last race of my MX2 career; we had some ups-and-downs during the year but we never gave up and a huge thanks to the team; the highlight was definitely Turkey with the moto win. It was also my last GP with F&H so a big thanks for the last two years to everyone; we had some fun times together so let’s end it strong now at the Motocross des Nations.”
Lucas Coenen: “The results are not what I wanted, but I am pleased that I was able to hold onto fifth in the championship. It has been a solid rookie season, with some highs and lows, and I am excited to get to work on 2024.”
Liam Everts: “In general it was a tough weekend but I got a bit better every session and that was a positive. Finishing 7th in the first moto I wasn’t feeling too great; not much more to say. It was nice to end the season with a holeshot in the second though. I battled for a while and ended up in 5th for 6th overall. Mixed feelings to end 2023 in this way but it was a great season with three wins and eight podiums in total. I’m looking forward to the Nations now.”
Rick Elzinga: “I dislocated my shoulder during the week, so I knew it would be a difficult weekend. In the first moto, I finished ninth, which was not too bad. I struggled to pass because I didn’t want to take any risk with my shoulder being unstable. In Race Two, I had a much better start, but I fell, so I had to come back from dead last. That’s about it. Top-10 in my first season in MX2. It’s something to build on.”
Sacha Coenen: “I felt good at the start of the weekend and my speed was good. I made some mistakes though. I threw away a decent start in the first moto, and in the second, with a crash and another error. Not the greatest but I know I was fast and I’ll take that from today. It has been a difficult season. We didn’t get the results we wanted but we’ll work as hard as we can to make that better next year.”
Jack Chambers: “It was tough coming back after breaking an ankle in Germany and missing three months of the season; I only took eight days off from physical training but you lose a little of the feeling with the bike during a long break like that. I only live thirty minutes from here during the season so this was like my home GP but I didn’t get my starts this weekend. I ran eighth for most of race two and was ninth until the last corner when I made a mistake and lost two positions. It would have been nice to finish ninth but eleventh isn’t bad. Now I’m looking forward to the Nations where I will race for Puerto Rico; when I went to watch last year I told myself I wanted to race the event one day.”
Lead Image: Kawasaki MXGP
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