KTM-supported rider Shaun Simpson of Britain continued his remarkable run of success on Sunday at the MXGP of Mexico in Leon, wrapping up second overall with a 2-2 moto result.
Already declared season champion, French rider Roman Febvre was the GP winner while Evgeny Bobryshev of Russia was third. Simpson, recently also crowned British National Champion, adds his second place in Leon to his GP victories in Assen and Lommel.
With riders facing extremely muddy conditions, especially in the first moto after overnight rain at the circuit, Simpson was satisfied to come away with second in the opening race. The track had started to dry out for the start of the second MXGP but he missed the start and at eighth place, he still had work to do. Simpson, known as a wily and tactical rider, then went on the chase to hunt down his opponents and finally advanced to second near the end of the moto after making a strong move on Gautier Paulin.
Shaun Simpson: “I already had good feeling on the track yesterday and my qualifying race wasn’t bad. I finished third and that was good for the start today. I was able to get into position early in the first race, but I had a small crash and bent my handlebars. It was difficult to make up time on Febvre so i settled for second. Then they worked on the track for the second race and there were a lot of line choices. It was very technical and I was able to pass in many places, so I wasn’t stressed when I had a bad start. I knew I could make some moves. It was a fun race and I could come back from eighth to finish second. It was also good to show I can run with Febvre and other top riders in other conditions and on a surface other than sand. I showed my speed and talent on the bike that’s really working well for me.”
Clearly benefitting from full factory support, which will also continue in the 2016 season, Simpson’s recent purple patch has lifted the spirits of theRed Bull KTM Factory Racing Team, which has been hard hit with rider injuries this year.
Jonass fights back to overall fourth in MX2
Meanwhile it was a particularly dramatic weekend for Red Bull KTM factory rider Pauls Jonass in the MX2 class. His weekend began very well when he picked up his first ever win in qualifying. Then on race day, when MX2 riders had the worst muddy conditions in their opening moto, Jonass rode a consistent and clever race to take his career-first MX2 race win. Things were looking positive for the young Latvian and he headed into the second moto just four points short of the current points leader, Tim Gajser.
But the drama was not over for Jonass. After taking the holeshot in his second moto, he slipped in the mud, lost the front of his factory bike and crashed out.
Still trying to rescue his title hopes, Jonass was quickly on his feet, got back in sixth place and set a furious pace to try to make up time lost. He then had what was probably the most spectacular crash of the season. He was catapulted high in the air coming off one of the jumps and both he and his KTM 250 SX-F ended up off the track and down the bank. Jonass again scrambled back into the race but had to return to the pits for some hasty repairs. He was a full two laps down when he returned to the race but put in a heroic effort and still managed to salvage enough points to finish fourth overall.
A disappointed, but thankfully uninjured Pauls Jonass said later: “I am very sorry. I felt good all weekend. I had a good speed and a good technique. I was able to win my qualifying race and I had an awesome first moto. But in the second moto I made a mistake on the first corner and lost the front. I was back in the race at sixth place but then on the big jump I hit a rut and lost contact with my feet. All i could do after that was to try to save what was possible. Now I have to focus on the fact that the championship is not over until the last moto in Glen Helen next weekend. I am still hoping and I still believe in myself.”
Jonas now goes to the final round in Glen Helen, USA 18-points down on championship leader Gajser but there are still 50 points up for grabs.
MXGP of Leon at Leon, Mexico – Round 17
(Note: Rider’s individual moto results in parenthesis)
1. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha, (1 – 1)
2. Shaun Simpson (GBR), KTM, (2 - 2)
3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS), Honda, (3 – 3)
4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL), Yamaha, (7 – 4)
5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED), Suzuki, (5 – 5)
10. Jose Butron (ESP), KTM, (9 – 8)
12. Adam Sterry (GBR), KTM, (12 – 12)
1. Febvre, 688
2. Paulin, 566
3. Bobryshev, 539
4. Simpson, 481
5. Nagl, 442
7. Tony Cairoli (ITA), KTM, 416
14. Butron, 21
17. Ken de Dycker (BEL), KTM, 155
24. Tommy Searle (GBR), KTM, 74
1. Thomas Covington (USA), Kawasaki, (4 – 1)
2. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda, (5 – 2)
3. Benoit Paturel (FRA), Yamaha, (3 – 5)
4. Pauls Jonass (LAT), KTM, (1 – 13)
5. Max Anstie (GBR), Kawasaki, (2 – 11)
7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED), KTM, (7 – 6)
12. Brian Bogers (NED), KTM, (11 – 12)
13. Ivo Monticelli (ITA), KTM, (15 – 9)
1. Gajser, 556
2. Jonass, 538
3. Anstie, 506
4. Guillod, 475
5. Seewer, 467
6. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM, 423
11. Bogers, 298
16. Monticelli, 18
17. Robert Justs (LAT), KTM, 181
21. Ben Watson (GBR), KTM, 12
22. Henry Jacobi (GER), KTM, 104
24. Davy Pootjes (NED), KTM, 97
MX2 Manufacturers Classification
1. KTM, 729
2. Kawasaki, 720
3. Yamaha, 609
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