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Skin graft surgery for Sterry!

Skin graft surgery for Sterry!
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The power-sapping sand of Lommel strikes fear into the hearts of many MXGP competitors, but the Wilvo Virus Performance KTM duo tend to thrive on the rough terrain. Hopes were high for Shaun Simpson, a past winner at one of the toughest races in the world and Adam Sterry.

MX2 Qualifying

A relatively-good start saw Adam Sterry occupy a spot towards the back of the top ten after the first lap of the MX2 qualifying heat, but he wasted no time and moved into seventh just minutes later. A couple of small falls derailed his charge as the race progressed, so he was forced to settle for fourteenth. Confidence was high, however, as Sterry had already shown what he can do despite a mediocre gate pick one week ago in the Czech Republic.

MXGP Qualifying

Ensuring that you do not waste energy tends to be a pivotal part of having success at Lommel, hence why Shaun Simpson did not get too involved in posting competitive times in the practice sessions. When the gates dropped at the start of the MXGP qualifying race, however, he showed his true colours. A mediocre start saw him end lap one on the cusp of the top fifteen, but he was then one of the only riders to make good progress in the coming laps. After breaching the top ten at the halfway mark, Simpson started posting consistent lap times that were, at points, a second faster than the leader and made him the fastest man on track. ‘24’ crossed the line in seventh, but the potential was there for so much more on race day.

MX2 Moto One

Adam Sterry was unfortunately caught out by some bad luck at the start of the first MX2 moto, as he got tangled up in a crash that claimed a handful of other riders. ‘811’ dusted himself off though, put his head down and from lowly 34th  he immediately started to make passes. It took just six laps for him to break into the points and from there he made more progress, despite the fact that rain made conditions even more treacherous. Fourteenth was where he eventually ended up, acquiring seven points.

MXGP Moto One

A strong start saw Shaun Simpson put his Wilvo Virus Performance KTM inside the top five in the first of two MXGP motos. Urged on by the large amount of British fans who made the short trip over, he entered the top three before the first official lap had ended and set his sights on the two leaders. It took Simpson just five laps to break into the runner-up spot, but although the temptation was there to push for the lead he decided to save energy for the second race and settled for second place.

MX2 Moto Two

Although Adam Sterry had a mediocre start in the second MX2 encounter, he was in a much better position than he was in the first moto and ended lap one twelfth. His race would come to an end soon after that however, as a crash left him trapped beneath his bike. After eventually being freed he immediately retired to the medical centre, before being transferred to hospital where he was treated for serious burns sustained from contact with the exhaust.

MXGP Moto Two

A top-ten start left Simpson with work to do at the start of the second and final MXGP moto, but his main competition for the overall win were right there. A mistake whilst in seventh saw him lose a couple of spots, but his chances of finishing on the podium were still quite high after such a strong first moto. An incident with another rider, which was completely out of his control, cost him dearly though, as he hit the ground again and did not have enough time to move back into the top ten. He did, however, make four passes to salvage a twelfth for sixth overall on the day.

Shaun Simpson: A lot of people expected me to do great things this weekend and I expected that of myself. I think I showed that I still have it in me in the first race and enjoyed riding my bike. I stuck to my game plan and saved some energy for the second one. In the second race I started around sixth and it was going to plan really, but I had a small mistake on my own. I then came together with Febvre, so that cost me a lot of time, and I went down once more. All things considered, I am happy with the weekend.

Adam Sterry: It was the scariest experience of my life today in the second moto! I just had a small crash, but my head got stuck in the back wheel between the exhaust and for two minutes I couldn’t move whilst my arm and chin were burning on the exhaust. I have third-degree burns to my arm so will head home for a skin graft. It shouldn’t be too long and we’ll be back.”

Team Manager, Steve Turner: “It was an eventful weekend for sure. Shaun showed he still has what it takes and managed his weekend really well to put himself in with a shout of the podium but was taken out by Febvre in race two which scuppered his chances.  Adam had a frightening incident in the second race which has left him facing skin graft surgery on his arm. Hopefully he’ll be back quickly but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Article: STR KTM

Pic: Richard Blyth

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