Interview: Shaun Simpson half 2 – his MXGP wins, racing an AMA Nationwide and his future


Interview: Shaun Simpson part 2 – his MXGP wins, racing an AMA National and his future

Partly two with Shaun Simpson we talk about his epic MXGP general wins in Lierop in 2013 and Lommel in 2015 – two improbable days in his profession. The week after Lommel, he travelled to America to race an AMA Nationwide and completed fourth general towards the very best in America in their very own again yard.

Simpson is coming to the tip of his improbable profession so we additionally talk about what his future may appear like as soon as he hangs up the Motocross boots.

You possibly can learn half one of many interview right here, as Simpson talks concerning the starting of his profession. 

GateDrop: You ended the 2013 season with the privateer JK Yamaha staff, one other staff from Italy however you had most likely the very best GP of your profession in Lierop that yr… Did you actually count on to win that GP battling Cairoli on a privateer bike!

Simpson: After I parted firm with TM, JK Yamaha mainly give me an almost new bike and a totally shagged out bike. They simply stated: ‘See what you are able to do with these’. They have been more than pleased to allow us to run at our personal units, get the suspension executed wherever we needed, get the engine down wherever we needed. That’s what we did, we went and acquired the engine tuned by Vollenburg Motorsport in Holland who we knew nicely and labored with earlier than. This was the important thing to our success in 2008 as a result of he did all our engines then and we tried actually arduous with the usual Yamaha suspension however rapidly couldn’t handle to get a lot of a setup there.

We have been one of many first ever to place WP suspension on a Japanese bike at World Championship stage however that simply remodeled it. After I had the engine and suspension working proper, I went from kind of being 10-12 straight up into the highest 5. I used to be battling with the manufacturing facility guys and it felt really easy to do. I used to be again with my 2008 feeling once more, it was that straightforward I used to be considering, ‘how can or not it’s this straightforward once more?’.

You converse to anybody that wins races at any stage, most of your race wins are a number of the best races in your life. A few of them aren’t however very often you actually really feel prefer it’s straightforward and it’s like ‘why or how?’. Making an attempt to copy it is likely one of the most irritating issues in a profession you may undergo.

You do the identical factor for breakfast, have the identical routine and all the remainder of it and it doesn’t work out then different days it simply clicks. In Lierop I knew that I used to be using nicely and had been doing a number of sand observe as I used to be residing in Belgium. I simply felt one thing that I’d by no means felt earlier than in my complete life, I then did really feel it once more a few occasions in my profession,  that Saturday I used to be interviewed, it was moist and sandy. That was how I used to be introduced up in Scotland and I stated within the interview that one thing actually particular might occur that weekend and it did.

There was one thing inside me, I simply knew I used to be going to have a extremely good weekend, I didn’t know I used to be going to win however I knew I used to be going to be there or there abouts.

GateDrop: You most likely had the very best occasions of your profession with Roger Magee and some years later you might be again racing for him. You gained Lommel GP which was superb however you then raced an AMA Nationwide the weekend – are you able to discuss me by that week having to cope with the emotion of profitable a GP and rapidly on a flight to America to race a Nationwide…

Simpson: It was a bizarre one. Getting again with Roger in 2014 was such an excellent constructing season. We completed seventh on the earth championship and had a few podiums that yr and one being in Lommel. We simply figured the bike out, we used 2014 as a let’s get again on the map yr. We did that and have been very stable.

2015 went superb, I used to be up entrance on a regular basis and main laps. I used to be getting good begins once more and feeling comfy with the bike after which Lommel got here round. It was much like Lierop that this was the second time in my profession, I awakened on Sunday morning with my spouse and as we left that morning we took a selfie. I typically have a look at that selfie as a result of at that precise time at 8am, I knew I used to be going to win the GP that day. I can’t you why I knew that however I simply felt so good about every part – my bike, my health, my programme and simply every part was on level.

It give my goose bumps leaving the home as a result of I simply thought that is going to be it, I’m going to win one other one immediately. It’s so insane to say it like that however I simply knew it was going to occur.

Picture: JP Acevedo

We did that and it was at all times the plan to go to Unadilla the week after Lommel, that was within the schedule. I knew we had a free weekend so whether or not I’d gained Lommel or not, I used to be going. However what a loopy week it was, we needed to depart on the Tuesday after Lommel and a lot hype over the win. There was really a lot hype in America too after I gained Lommel. We rode in Unadilla which is nothing like Lommel, I turned up there off the again of the GP win and Manufacturing unit KTM in America provided me the prospect to race certainly one of their bikes. They prepped me Ryan Dungey’s observe bike which in my view appeared model new. I turned up there, put my stickers, handlebars and a seat on and we have been able to go.

I rode one thing I hadn’t even arrange suspension smart, they only put one thing in that they thought can be good for me, my weight and velocity. I believe I actually impressed lots of people over there, it could have been superb to go over and win however I’m not your Jeffrey Herlings or a Romain Febvre who put in prime outcomes on a regular basis. I used to be the sort of man that peaked on the ones I might do nicely at after which I’d be a prime 5 or prime ten man relying on the day so going over there and ending fourth general, it simply blew me away. What I did, it actually impressed these guys and even now I seen them once I went over to Anaheim. I met Ian Harrison and Roger de Coster, they only have that stage of respect for you that had I gone over and did garbage, they’d have most likely thought he’s simply one other man coming over to waste our time.

I went over there with the sport face on and managed to harness all of this vitality and aside from my spouse not being there which she nonetheless offers me sh*t about, it was most likely the very best two weeks of my complete life apart from getting married and having a household and stuff, from my racing profession, it was surreal. Social media was blowing up each single day, I used to be getting a whole bunch of likes, heaps of messages, somebody like Jeffrey Herlings most likely will get that on a regular basis however for me that was simply one thing I’d by no means skilled.

Picture: GuyB -VitalMX

GateDrop: The respect factor between you and the American guys I discover fascinating, I believe again then in America it was all about America and so they didn’t care about GP riders… however issues have modified and doubtless the current MXoN outcomes have helped however do you assume there’s extra respect now than there was once?

Simpson: I believe so, undoubtedly. You already know it’s not straightforward to cover from. Individuals are very outspoken and for a very long time they only acquired their butts whipped and to be trustworthy, ok for them. However after being over to Anaheim and stuff, I actually actually respect how spectacular these guys are indoors. I imply with regards to Supercross tracks, we expect the Arenacross monitor right here in Belfast is kind of technical, tight and all the remainder of it however a number of the stuff they trip may be very spectacular. You’ve got to take your hat off to them for that as nicely. They do 50-50 so in my view they’re at a slight drawback as a result of they arrive out of Supercross straight into Motocross and away they go. There’s little doubt about it, America is a giant place and so they have heaps of actually good riders.

I do agree with you that the notion has modified now, they’ve acquired rather more of an understanding of how arduous we work in Europe and particularly by unhealthy situations and tough tracks, the gnarlier the higher for the Europeans. The Individuals undoubtedly take their hats of to us for that.

GateDrop: The Motocross Des Nations is an occasion I do know very particular for you. Staff GB couldn’t appear to purchase a podium however then Mark Chamberlain got here in as staff supervisor and so they all got here collectively directly – are you able to inform me a few of your reminiscences from that occasion?

Simpson: I really feel coming from Scotland all through my entire profession I used to be at a slight drawback. I really feel the occasions I’ve been on the staff I’ve simply warranted my spot and really feel actually proud. The occasions it has been contact and go and it’s been myself in a hat with just a few different guys, once you do get chosen you are feeling that it’s a must to step up.

You already know, 2019 was a little bit of a humorous yr as a result of we had a few good guys that weren’t obtainable for the staff and we ended up taking myself, Nathan Watson and Adam Sterry. In all probability earlier than the weekend began, everybody thought this possibly isn’t even a B staff and extra of a C staff. Everybody was fairly vocal about that however I had a chat with the boys and myself being the oldest age and skilled smart, I simply stated, let’s knuckle down and also you by no means know what might occur at these occasions.

It was such a lottery with the climate we acquired as nicely. Nathan had simply got here out from contesting World Enduro occasions however everybody knew he was doing the seashore races and was proper into getting caught in. Adam Sterry, he was in an excellent staff (F&H Kawasaki) and grafts away – he isn’t some of the pure gifted guys on the market however he simply offers it every part he has.

Picture: Ray Archer

We knuckled down and I had no concept the place we have been till I came to visit the end line and Mark is giving me the fist pumps saying we made it. What an incredible feeling, it’s completely different feelings to profitable a GP as a result of it’s a staff race and profitable a GP is one thing you’ve executed by yourself, so most likely barely much less in that respect however particularly as a result of it took me so many makes an attempt to get there. So many guys I’d been with on the staff earlier than had by no means made it on the rostrum. After all it could have been pretty to win certainly one of this stuff however going up towards the yanks, French and Italians each single yr we’re going to be at a drawback having such a small nation that we dwell in. What an achievement, it was a type of issues in my profession that I hadn’t checked off and that was it then executed as a result of we acquired on the rostrum.

GateDrop: Shaun Simpson as of late doesn’t race MXGP anymore and are specializing in the British Championship and this yr might be a staff supervisor in addition to a staff rider… What’s it like for you being away from MXGP and specializing in racing in England since you’ve raced GP’s since such a younger age…

Simpson: Final yr was my first full yr simply racing the British Championship, Scottish Championship, chosen MX Nationals and a few races in France. I genuinely didn’t miss MXGP in any respect. You already know, there was some years like 2014 and 2015 once I was with Roger, we had actually good outcomes don’t get me improper and it actually paid off. However these years felt like three years, it was a lot arduous work and other people won’t ever perceive how a lot work me and my Dad put in. Simply the 2 of us and nobody else to assist us, the GP’s actually began to take a toll on me.

Picture: Nigel McKinstry

I acquired married and have a younger household now so being away from dwelling throughout Covid-19 working my very own staff, struggling to get sponsors… A: it wasn’t paying anymore, B: I used to be spending a lot time away from my household and C: I wasn’t getting the outcomes I felt I warranted, deserved or might get.

It simply wasn’t possible anymore, it’s so costly to do MXGP travelling all around the world. I simply needed to remain at dwelling and be with my youngsters, my spouse and base myself again in Scotland the place I haven’t based mostly myself correctly since I used to be 16 years previous. Most years since 16 till I used to be 33, I’d have been in Scotland for two or possibly 3 months a yr whereas the opposite 9 months of the yr, we’d be in Belgium.

I by no means acquired to see a number of the timber in my backyard rising and I lower my grass at dwelling, stuff like that in my mid 30’s now I’m actually having fun with being at dwelling.

My youngsters are practically beginning college or nicely my little boy is however simply being there and for the varsity run within the morning, I don’t wish to miss these issues. I nonetheless do really feel aggressive within the UK, I genuinely do really feel that I can get one other title beneath my belt however it will likely be powerful. I’m not getting any youthful, I’m undoubtedly considering extra when I’m using as of late – I’ve had my justifiable share of accidents alongside the best way and I don’t actually wish to be getting injured anymore. That’s simply how it’s so much more methodical and extra thought goes into issues. If this new bike, the best way I’m feeling on it proper now, I believe if we will get every part dialled on it that we will have an excellent probability of making an attempt to shoot for the title.

Tommy and Harri have been the 2 most important guys the previous couple of years so I must put it up there and blend it with them. We’ve clearly acquired Josh Gilbert and Conrad Mewse in addition to just a few different guys within the combine so it’ll make for good racing. Hopefully we will have lots of enjoyable doing it.

I don’t know what number of extra years I’ll race – I’m simply taking it yr by yr.

GateDrop: While you do resolve to hold up the boots do you could have any concept what you’ll do? Maybe keep within the sport as a staff supervisor or I believe you’ve be an excellent coach!

Simpson: I genuinely assume I might flip my hand to lots of issues. I’m fairly technical on the bike and do lots of work on the bikes myself. I’ve actually discovered lots of issues through the years. I additionally assume I’d be good at teaching, I believe I’d be an excellent staff supervisor… however I must resolve what it’s I wish to do. I don’t see myself being a staff supervisor for the subsequent ten years of my life after I do hold up my boots but it surely might work for 2-3 or possibly 5 years. However it is a stepping stone for me to determine if that’s one thing I wish to do.

Picture: Nigel McKinstry

I’m nonetheless using and racing at a really excessive stage within the UK. If I can handle and do every part that I must do for our staff and I can take pleasure in it whereas Tristan Purdon and Taylor Hammal do some GP’s as a result of that’s what Simon from Gabriel desires to do, he’d prefer to have a GP staff throughout the subsequent couple of years. There can be a spot open there for me to proceed on if every part goes nicely but it surely’s whether or not or not I can sacrifice that point away from dwelling, my spouse and my youngsters doing one thing I used to do however not really doing it myself.  Will I get the identical enjoyment from managing a staff than racing? I might warrant the time away as a result of I used to be a racer however if you’re getting paid to be a racer or staff supervisor, it’s lots safer to be a staff supervisor. Not less than I might fly out on a Friday and are available dwelling on the Monday or no matter.

I’d nonetheless generate income, primarily I actually haven’t made sufficient cash in my profession to only sit down and sit back for just a few years so I might want to get a job. However I don’t see myself going to get a 9-5 someplace so I’ll stick throughout the sport for an additional few years but after hanging up my boots.

GateDrop: Tristan and Taylor are going to do just a few GP’s this yr – might you be tempted into doing one just like the British GP?

Simpson: It has crossed my thoughts and I’ve been requested the few questions by just a few mates and my spouse particularly (laughs). I’d solely go if I felt like I might go and do myself justice. I wouldn’t go simply to make up the numbers, I don’t wish to go round and find yourself ending twentieth as a result of everybody on the GP’s goes to assume, ‘why would he come again and do this?’.

I wish to go and have an actual good shot at it and if I really feel comfy, using good and really feel secure and match then I’d give one in the past. It might be a sandy one, Lommel or Arnhem however till that time comes within the season then I gained’t know. It might be a final minute factor if it does occur.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Major picture: MXGP/Infront Moto Racing