Pauls Jonass gained 15th place at the 4th stage of the FIM World Motocross Championship last weekend, securing his 11th position in the overall rankings. This weekend’s competition was held at the Pietramurata track in the Trentino region, one of the most traditional and scenic destinations of MXGP.
On Saturday’s qualifying race, Pauls had the 10th gate pick after a decent time practice in which he said to have had a good flow on the bike. Following a successful start, the young Latvian ranked 6th, defending the position for a large portion of the moto. After 20 minutes and 2 laps, Jonass reached the finish flag in 7th place, which is by far the athlete’s best achievement in qualifying races this year. “On Saturday we managed to have a great race, which also resulted in my best performance of the season so far. I felt good, so I was ready to fight for every position to try to get as many points as possible on Sunday,” said Jonass.
While the athletes and teams were worrying about the track’s condition before the races due to the week’s heavy rainfall, the track managers had done a great job of masterfully preparing the venue for the race. Jonass started the 1st final moto in 9th position, but a mistake in the first half of the race forced the athlete to a couple of places back, and he finished the race being 11th. “I raced steadily, and although I made a mistake that allowed two rivals to overtake me, I think the spot I earned is in line with my current racing and physical capabilities, ” Pauls admitted.
Race 2 started off unsuccessfully, when Jonass fell after one of the first corners of the track and had to start the race all over again from the last spot. By the end of the moto, the Latvian managed to move to the 19th position, where the athlete also was when crossing the finish line. “The crash happened with the athletes in front of me when I got stuck behind one of the motorcycles in front of me and had to start the race all over again. Then, of course, finding the needed rhythm was much more difficult, but I did what I could to get by as many competitors as possible on the comparatively narrow track. I’m glad I earned at least 2 points. It’s not a lot, but sometimes the difference in the championship’s overall rankings is just a couple of points, so you have to fight for each position, ”says the Latvian youngster.
Despite the crash, Jonass was optimistic after the weekend: “I hit my head and shoulder during the fall, but luckily there are no serious injuries. I have a month to continue working with the team and improve my physical fitness before the race in Mantova. I would definitely want to improve my reaction when it comes to the starting gate, which would provide an immeasurable advantage when beginning the race. Of course, somewhere in the subconscious there is also the fact that the Latvian MXGP stage is approaching fast. I hope to see every one of my fans there in two months time. ”
The next stage of the FIM World Motocross Championship will take place on May 12 in Mantova, Italy.
Written by Nikola Serge
Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo