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Monday Conversation II: British MX2 National Champion Shaun Simpson

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Shaun Simpson has been taking racing quite seriously over the last couple of years, and although injuries have plagued him somewhat, he has managed to finish off the 2008 season by clinching the MX2 British National Championship and finishing fourth in the MX2 class in the World Motocross Championship. Next, he heads to Donington Park with his UK teammates to take on the world.

Racer X: You’ve been racing for a few years now, but you finally broke through to win your first title – the 2008 British MX2 National Championship. How do you feel about that?

Shaun Simpson: I don’t know, it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been doing the GPs now for four years and the British Championships for five or six, so I’m still quite young, but I’ve been at it for a long time. I’ve always had injuries and all sorts of things going on, so this year again I had an injury, but we managed to come back quite soon after that – only six/seven days after breaking my collarbone. I managed to put it together. I’ve not been feeling great the last part of the year, but it’s just been putting the motos in and scoring the points, and staying consistent. The bike’s been working really good. I can’t say enough.

So you’re moving up to the Red Bull KTM factory team for the GPs next year. Talk a little bit about the transition and what you expect to be different, because it seems like in a lot of respects it’s going the be the same thing, as you race KTMs already.
I think in a lot of ways it will be very similar, and I know my bike’s been good this year, but I think the help you can get and the support that everyone’s got there, I think being on a factory team, you can’t ever say no to that. It’s going to be a change for me. I’ve been with Roger [Magee, principal of KTM UK] now for four years and a lot of things are going to have to change. I’m going to have to live in Belgium – I’m going to have to get a place out there – and I think it’ll be good, practicing and training with Stefan Everts, and the facility there is good.

{QUOTE}How come Scotsmen are beating up the Englishmen in their own championship here?
I don’t know! It’s good to see some good talent coming out of Scotland. I don’t know. That’s a hard question. Billy [Mackenzie] has been riding good, and obviously Stephen [Sword] and myself and a few other guys. It’s just nice.

What are your thoughts going into next weekend’s Motocross des Nations here in England? You, Mackenzie and Tommy Searle are going to take on the world...

Obviously, this is my first time being on the team, so obviously I’m really looking forward to it. I went to Budds Creek last year and watched there, and the atmosphere was just amazing. To be a part of the team with the home crowd behind us, it’s going to be the best race of the year – the most adrenaline-pumping and everything. I’m just going to have to go out there and give it my all, and I don’t see why we can’t get on the podium.

You’re going to throw some elbows, right?
Yeah, definitely. We’re at home and the Americans are coming, and everyone thinks they’re going to win, but we’re going to try as hard as we can to not let them win. I think we’ve got a good shot at it.
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