Shaun Simpson, racing on Honda, claims the 2011 Belgian National MX title
Mont-Saint Guibert – Belgium – Ken De Dycker won the race, but Shaun Simpson is the champion!
Courtesy LS Honda: Nineteen years after Billy Liles from Georgia (USA) captured the Open Belgian Motocross title LS Honda Racing’s Shaun ‘Braveheart’ Simpson (23) became the second ever non-Belgian rider to win the highly regarded series! Simpson is originally from Gauldry, Fife in Scotland but lives in Overpelt, Belgium during the motocross season. Shaun ended his day in Mont-Saint Guibert, situated 40 kilometers south-east of Brussels – fifth overall while team mate Ken De Dycker made a stunning comeback to racing. De Dycker posted a near perfect scorecard with two wins and a third. The spectacular Belgian ultimately grabbed the runner-up position in final standings as well, he was joined on the day’s podium by Rui Goncalves (Honda World Motocross) and Anthony BoissiÃ¨re (Monster Energy Yamaha).
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Under sunny skies the day’s racing kicked off with a holeshot for Goncalves ahead of Guarneri. De Dycker had a decent start and quickly made his way up to pass Guarneri with over 12 minutes to go. The LS Honda Racing rider with the number 9 crossed the finish line almost 6 seconds ahead of his Italian adversary. Shaun Simpson finished sixth behind Estonia’s Tanel Leok.
Both Shaun and Ken suffered extremely bad starts in the second moto. It was Leok who grabbed the holeshot in front, but Guarneri continued to display his great MX of Nations form to take control of the 25 minute plus one lap sprint. De Dycker tackled the scenic sand quarry track with typical enthusiasm and made his way through the pack. From 23rd at the start Keeno surprisingly managed to catch up with the leading riders in the final stages. After an entertaining race coming from behind he passed Boissiere, Van Daele and Leok on the last two laps to finish third. Guarneri won, Portugal’s Rui Goncalves was second. Simpson managed to fight back to eighth, sufficient to wrap up the Belgian title with one moto to go! After the British MX2 title in 2008, it’s a second major championship title on the Scott’s career tally.
Goncalves was first out of the tight lefhander, but De Dycker had a good start in the final moto. Ken quickly moved ahead of the pack and would lead from start to finish. Facing an empty track he steered his CRF450R to an amazing 1:45.218 in the second lap, more than four seconds faster than his nearest rivals. No one could recover from De Dycker’s dominant opening and he recorded his fifth moto triumph in this season’s Belgian championship. Goncalves was now second after the unfortunate Guarneri had made a big crash. Frenchman Boissiere crossed the line in third. Simpson put in a solid performance for fifth place, his best result of the day.
Shaun Simpson, Belgian Champion 2011: “In the first moto I was a bit tense and suffered arm pump. That was fine in the second and the third moto, but I didn’t have a great feeling with the bike today. So I just rode carefully and tried to do what I could. Starting from the worst position on the gate after I had some problems in qualifying was not helping either! Anyway I’m happy for my team, my fans and the sponsors to take the Belgian title. I was consistent, but unfortunately I didn’t win any races. It was not an easy season, but I capped it off in a positive way and I would like to thank everyone who supported me. This was probably my last race of the season, so I’m really looking forward to some rest and I’m very excited about 2012!”
Ken De Dycker, Mont-Saint Guibert overall winner: “Actually I didn’t expect that it would go so well! We had some great conditions here and I loved racing this track. My second moto was the most difficult because I was a bit too late for the start and messed up my start after that. On top of that a stone knocked the lens out of my goggles so I had to stop to adjust (this). But catching up to get third in that race was not so bad. The other two races went perfectly, I just had to be careful to pace myself because I’m nowhere as race fit like I was earlier in the season. I hadn’t been racing for weeks so these three motos were pretty brutal. My arms were sore and I felt a bit stiff, however I’m not complaining. Going into hibernation with a win under your belt feels great!”
Race 1: 1. Ken De Dycker (BEL, LS Honda Racing), 2. Davide Guarneri, 3. Anthony Boissiere, 4. Jeremy DelincÃƒÂ©, 5. Tanel Leok, 6. Shaun Simpson (GBR, LS Honda Racing), 7. Cyril Coulon, 8. Nick Triest, 9. Rui Goncalves, 10. Manuel Priem
Race 2: 1. Davide Guarneri, 2. Rui Goncalves, 3. Ken De Dycker (BEL, LS Honda Racing), 4. Tanel Leok, 5. Marvin Van Daele, 6. Anthony Boissiere, 7. Thomas Allier, 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, LS Honda Racing), 9. Manuel Priem, 10. Cyril Coulon
Race 3: 1. Ken De Dycker (BEL, LS Honda Racing), 2. Rui Goncalves, 3. Anthony Boissiere, 4. Marvin Van Daele, 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, LS Honda Racing), 6. Manuel Priem, 7. Jurgen Wybo, 8. Nick Triest, 9. Jeremy DelincÃƒÂ©, 10. Cyril Coulon
Mont-Saint Guibert classification: 1. Ken De Dycker (BEL, LS Honda Racing) 70 pts, 2. Rui GonÃƒÂ§alves 56, 3. Anthony Boissiere 55, 4. Davide Guarneri 47, 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, LS Honda Racing) 44, 6. Marvin Van Daele 41,7. Jeremy DelincÃƒÂ© 39, 8. Manuel Priem 38, 9. Nick Triest 36, 10. Cyril Coulon 36
Open Belgian Motocross Championship final standings: 1. Shaun Simpson (GBR, LS Honda Racing), 356 pts, 2. Ken De Dycker (BEL, LS Honda Racing) 311, 3. Davide Guarneri 306, 4. ClÃƒÂ©ment Desalle 216, 5. Marvin Van Daele 206, 6. Kevin Strijbos 199, 7. Steve Ramon 184, 8. Jeremy DelincÃƒÂ© 170, 9. David Cools 156, 10. Nick Triest 150
Image of Shaun Simpson courtesy CDS