Moto Media
James Stewart

Simpson's winning debut at London Supercross

Photo credits:  Thumbnail: Ray Archer.  Champagne / Winner's Trophy: Nuno Laranjeira

Shaun’s day started positively, and with a promising practice session under his belt he went into his first British Open Class heat race in an optimistic mood. Any hopes of an easy transition into the main event were dashed with a poor start, though. Shaun was relegated to the rear of the pack, but being the only rider brave enough to attempt a tricky triple jump he was able to make up ground. However, in a bid to avoid the last chance qualifier Shaun collided with Stephen Sword’s rear wheel. The incident left Simpson and Sword in a heap, and facing a tense last chance qualifying race in which only one rider would progress to the final.

Fortunately Shaun made it through the British Open Class LCQ unscathed to take his place in the main event. The SX1 Pro Class heat was less noteworthy, and Shaun earned his place in the final courtesy of a comfortable top five finish. Before the finals the crowd were treated to a series of one-lap head-to-head races. Shaun dispatched Brunell in his first outing and took on Alex Snow and Ashley Greedy in an anxious three-way scrap for honours. Shaun’s opportunity to demonstrate his pace was cut short by Greedy though, whose aggressive riding resulted in Shaun’s LS Honda getting punted off the track.

Simpson was ready to make amends in the British Open Class final, but yet another average start left him with a lot to do. The track was tight, making passing riders very difficult, but Shaun worked his way back up to fourth place before losing the front when attempting to pass Brunell. With just three laps to go the accident curtailed any aspirations of a double win and Shaun eventually finished a lowly eleventh. 

With his focus switched to the main event, and winning the SX1 Pro Class, a determined Simpson made short work of the final. He skipped past Mike Brown, Brunell and Tom Church in the opening few laps before stretching out a gap and taking his first victory aboard his new LS Honda CRF450R.

"It was a mixed night for me but I set out to win the SX1 Pro Class and not get injured, and that is what I did,” said Shaun. "I had a few dodgy starts, but I was the only guy tripling the back section so I was able to make up a lot of time there. The Honda’s power meant I could square off the corners and use its grunt to skip over the obstacles. It felt really balanced on what was a fairly tight and technical track so I was really happy with its performance. Riding Supercross is always good fun, and to win on my debut was great, however now I am focused one hundred percent on motocross and carrying this momentum into the pre-season internationals.”