Over the years, Shawn Robinson has been a talented, hard-working rider who can never be counted out in any moto. The French Canadian rider has also been a fixture on the national circuit for the past few years, competing in all of the rounds from coast to coast. After riding a KTM last year, for 2017 Shawn is back on a blue Yamaha and he couldn’t be more excited. We caught up with Shawn for this week’s Motovan Ten Spot.
MXP: Hey Shawn, how are things?
SR: Things are really good, the off-season has been pretty slow, but now I’m in the process of getting ready to head south. I’m going to ClubMX again in South Carolina to train and ride until the Nationals begin.
What have you been up to since the National series ended last August?
Well, unfortunately my season ended a little early in 2016 when I crashed at Round 9 in Quebec. I ended up crashing pretty hard and had to get stitches in my knee; because of that injury I was forced to sit out the final round in Barrie. Once I healed up from that I just helped my Dad out at his shop and took it easy. In December, I went down to ClubMX with Kaven Benoit. It was supposed to be for three weeks, but he got hurt so we came home after just a week. That was pretty much it.
Speaking of 2016, you ended up 13th overall in the MX1 series, and that was with you missing the final round. How did you feel last year?
I felt really good actually. In the west I took a while to get going, and we had a few bike issues. Other than that, things were good on the KTMs. I mean, you always want to do better, but the 2016 MX1 series was very competitive as you know.
What was your best race in 2016?
I would have to say Gopher Dunes was my best race last year. Usually at Gopher I always have one good moto and one bad one, but in 2016 I was able to put two good ones in to finish 9th overall. I think Deschambault also would’ve been good as I was running in 7th when I crashed, but who knows.
Looking now to 2017 and you’re back on blue. You must be very excited.
Yes, I’m very excited as I do have a lot of experience riding Yamahas. When I turned pro I was riding a Yamaha so hopefully I won’t have any trouble getting used to them again.
How did this deal come about?
Over the years I have always kept in touch with Marc Antoine Genereux from the Saint-Cesaire dealership, but we could never put anything together. Well, this year he offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse so I decided to work with him. He’s a former pro racer so he knows what goes into pro racing and what we need to go racing. Marc is a great guy and I’m very happy to be working with him. I’m also really happy to be working with Motovan and Shot Racewear. I think we’re all going to make a great team.
Yes, he is a great guy and he will most definitely be a good sponsor. What are your plans
between now and Kamloops in June?
I was supposed to head back down to ClubMX with Kaven, but now that he’s out with an injury I had to make other plans. On February 15 I’m heading there to train and ride and I’ll probably be there until we can ride back here. The facility is great and the track is the best around. Also, a lot of fast guys ride there so there is always riders to ride with.
Sounds like you’re going to be busy Shawn. What do you like the most about being a pro rider?
I think the best part is when you’re involved in a 35 minute battle at a National with someone and you just leave everything on the track. Although it’s exhausting, that feeling after is incredible as you know you just did something really special.
What do you need to work on this year to be a consistent top ten finisher?
I think I just need to work on my starts and my riding in the first part of each moto. I always seem to be coming from behind and that just uses up too much energy. I think if I could start better and get with the leaders pace early, I might not use up as much energy.
That’s a good point Shawn as it’s hard always having to come from behind. What are your goals for 2017?
I think just to get comfortable on the Yamahas. Then once the Nationals begin I just want to ride smart, get good starts and not have any mechanical problems. That is about it, hopefully all goes well and I can have a good and safe 2017.