Tonus returns at Villars sous Ecot! Created: 2018-01-16

The final round of the FIM Motocross World Championship was held at the wet circuit of Villars sous Ecot this past weekend. Thousands of fans travelled to the hard-pack track and lingered around the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP awning, which was at capacity. Arnaud Tonus, who has been missing since the MXGP of Switzerland, returned to racing and sat alongside Shaun Simpson.

Arnaud Tonus wasted no time at all on the first day of racing; he posted competitive times in practice, then burst out of the gate in the qualifying heat and started the race in second. A mistake eventually restricted him to eighth at the chequered flag, but it was quite clear that he was capable of so much more. A poor start and crash, which also involved Shaun Simpson, hindered him in the first of two motos on Sunday, but he put in a valiant effort to salvage a tenth.

The final moto of the MXGP season was a good one for Tonus, who won a moto at the last Grand Prix that he competed at. ‘4’ utilised all of the power within his 2018 YZ450F to start inside of the top four and then cross the chequered flag in fifth. The twenty-seven points that were gained helped him acquire seventh overall and twelfth in the final championship standings, despite the fact that he missed three rounds with a broken rib.

Shaun Simpson, the second rider on the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team, often thrives in muddy conditions, but had a poor position on the starting line in moto one. A crash then threatened to derail his race, but he put his head down and charged forward to fifteenth at the chequered flag. Those issues did not arise in the second encounter, much to the delight of the Scotsman, so he was able to finish eleventh and tenth overall on the day.

Following a turbulent season, which included a couple of injuries and also a Grand Prix win in Indonesia, Simpson finished seventeenth in the final championship standings and will now turn his attention to the 2018 season. Arnaud Tonus, on the other hand, still has one race to complete, as he will represent Team Switzerland at the Motocross of Nations in two weeks. Tonus will compete in the MXGP class aboard his trusty YZ450F.

Shaun Simpson: “We had a good week of training, Arnaud and I, so came into the weekend feeling quite positive. We lined up for moto one and did not get the best of starts, but ended up going into turn two in eighth or ninth. I then ended up crashing with Arnaud, which set the tone for the first race. I fought back to fifteenth, which was not too bad, and then in the second race I could not get into my groove. It was just one of those weekends. I have got some time now to figure things out and get my head down. Massive thanks to the team for sticking with me and believing in me as much as I do!

Arnaud Tonus: “It was a positive weekend. I really enjoyed this track before the rain came; it was so fun. In the first race I had a small crash with Shaun, but we got stuck together and lost some seconds there. I came back to tenth, so that was pretty good and in the second race I was fifth. In these kind of conditions, I am happy with that.”

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