Max Nagl and Shaun Simpson reflect on their Factory TM experience
TM have announced they will return to the World Championship in 2024 in the MX2 category after signing up Spanish talent, Yago Martinez. It’s been a six year absence for the brand contesting World Championship action after leaving the paddock and then making a return but focusing on EMX up until this year and it is great to see the Italian brand focus on the World Championship once again.
We recently asked Max Nagl and Shaun Simpson about their experience with the brand albeit they raced the MXGP class with TM.
Max Nagl: Honestly, for me, the team was the best team I ever rode in my career. It was such like a family atmosphere and such nice people I had at that time. The team was amazing. The bike, when I changed to TM, everybody said that was the end because nobody believed in TM and that it is a good bike. I believed in it and actually I was really surprised when I did my first testing days in Italy.
Immediately I said that I wanted to go for it so we made the contract, did some testing and we could get the bike to a really good level and a really good stage. With this bike we also had a lot of good results in the GP’s and I won a lot of ADAC races too. Actually, it was a really good year I had with TM and if I would have the chance, I’d do the same because it was really a great time.
Shaun Simpson: It was very interesting to see. Straight away for me the language barrier was an issue. You know we don’t speak Italian and they spoke very good English but a lot of things got lost in translation. Again I was stuck in a situation where the engine on that bike was very good. One engine to another would be very different, they could build three engines and they’d feel very different but they were good. They were very good on the hard pack and very torquey which I really liked and enjoyed about it. But the chassis and the handling I just could not get on with it at all.
We tried lots of different stuff, we had parts breaking and the bike cut out on me a few times. The bike used that much fuel we had to build a 13 and a half litre fuel tank out of aluminum for Valkenswaard GP. It was that bike the fuel hose kinked and I didn’t even manage to finish the GP because I didn’t have any fuel.
There were a lot of things that went on but on the whole, the factory experience and the factory tour and being down there in Italy was very interesting and hats off to them. Those guys are running a serious operation down there but at the highest level of GP racing, they were missing a few parts that year and I took the brunt of that. The years after that they did seem to get their sh*t together a little bit more. They were able to finish the races and had the bike a little bit more setup. It was a tough one but the decision to ride for TM and parting company with them a third of the way into a season, was probably the trigger of the point of my career where I got on a Yamaha and that was the next chapter of my career.
Article: Andy McKinstry