On March 23 and 24, Matterley Basin circuit once again hosted the MXGP FIM Motocross World Championship round. Thousands of motocross enthusiasts were gathered in the sunlit Matterley park, Latvian flags being no rarity alongside the track.
After a conversation on Friday, Pauls admitted to feeling good despite the health problems he had gone through after the Argentine stage of the season, which prevented the athlete from doing any training at all for a whole week. Matterley Basin track is definitely one of Jonass’ favourite stops in the season’s race calendar since it was here that his championship title of the EMX125 class was won in 2013.
On Saturday, the track was in a great condition, as noted after the athletes’ many positive comments. Pauls kicked off his qualifying race being just outside the Top 10, then gradually fighting and trying to get past as many other riders as possible. After the finish, where Jonass ranked 13th, the athlete admitted that “because of a relatively unsuccessful start, he had to make a lot of effort to gain a couple of positions and to secure the final spot at the end of the race”.
Sunday’s first moto began on the same note as the previous day’s qualifying race, Pauls starting from the 13th position. During the race, the athlete was bouncing back and forth between positions, at some point even being at the 10th spot. At the end of the race the Latvian managed to finish fourteenth. “Durning the first moto I was riding quite timidly, and, when I found the right rhythm, there was not much time left to fight for a spot in the Top 10. Before the start I felt good, but during the race my racing did not go as I had intended it to, ” said the athlete.
Pauls started the second race by being 6th, a position in which he spent a large portion of the race. In the second half of the moto, several athletes approached Jonass and after fierce battles managed to pass the Latvian, guaranteeing him the 11th position both in the race and in the overall ranking. “For the first 15 minutes of the race I felt great, which reflected in my racing and the result shown. Unfortunately, I started to get tired later and made a number of mistakes that reduced my speed and allowed my rivals to pass me. I am definitely not in my best shape in terms of physical fitness, but I hope to be able to say something diametrically different in a couple of months,” admits the athlete, adding that, despite the loss of the 10th position in the last lap, he remains optimistic.
“I’m not completely satisfied with my performance this weekend, but we mustn’t forget the fact that my time spent training on a bike is still relatively tiny, so we shouldn’t expect miracles. The team is pleased with my performance, and, just like after Argentina, we have specified things that need to be improved. Now the primary goal is to continue racing and spend as much time on the motorcycle as possible. We will definitely continue to test the bike settings to get the most out of the upcoming MXGP next weekend in the Netherlands, as well as all the future race destinations. The team and I are positive, so the amount of work done will only increase. I hope that I will be able to be more consistent in the next stages and gradually secure a definite place for myself in the Top 10 of the pack,” he adds cheekily.
Written by Nikola Serge
Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo