The Wilvo Yamaha MXGP squad travelled across to Portugal this past weekend, as the spectacular track of Agueda played host to the fifth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. A soft and technical surface, which was resurrected following heavy downpours, pushed the riders to their limits on race day.
Jeremy Seewer had another promising qualifying race, where he showed speed and potential aboard his YZ450F. A small mistake stopped him from breaking into the top six, unfortunately, but he still pushed forward from tenth to seventh and salvaged a respectable gate pick for the main races. Shaun Simpson, the second rider beneath the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP awning, was a little battered and bruised after a crash last week, but recovered well to qualify in eleventh. It was a solid start to the Grand Prix for the team.
The first MXGP encounter on Sunday was remarkably similar to the qualifying heat for Jeremy Seewer, as he started in ninth and immediately charged up to sixth. A small error cost him a couple of positions, three to be precise, but he still worked his way into eighth at the chequered flag and acquired thirteen points. Seewer then built on that in the final moto, as he ended seventh and held the same position in the overall classification. Ninth is the position that he currently occupies in the premier-class standings.
Shaun Simpson had a consistent outing and salvaged a respectable amount of points on a day where he was not at his best. Eleventh was the position that he acquired in moto one, thanks to a small charge towards the end, and then he matched that with another eleventh in the final moto. Unsurprisingly, he also occupied eleventh in the overall classification. It is also worth noting that Simpson, who now runs twelfth in the series, claimed the holeshot in the final moto and took advantage of some valuable television time.
Jeremy Seewer and Shaun Simpson will now take advantage of a small break in the schedule, before travelling to Russia for the sixth round of the current campaign. The team have great memories from that track; Arnaud Tonus, who is currently injured, won the qualifying race there just last year.
Jeremy Seewer: “Overall it was another solid weekend. There was nothing really special, but also nothing bad either. I felt pretty good all weekend, my speed was good and I could battle with the top guys. I struggled a bit off the starts this weekend, but I was really happy how I could move forward through the field and overall I think I did okay. Every weekend I get better and better, I took the most points I have so far today so you can see I am improving.”
Shaun Simpson: “I’m totally looking at all the positives from this weekend. It is safe to say that seven days ago, I did not think I would be racing here. For my shoulder to be good enough to race today was already miraculous, as well as the skin infection and open wound on my arm, and I somehow managed to ride through it all for my second-best Grand Prix finish this year. I got a holeshot and there were moments in my riding on the track that I was happy with. Looking at the grand scheme of things, I could not ask for much better. Two scores today and a reasonable gap in the calendar to heal up and regroup for Russia.”