The second round held on the exotic islands of Indonesia brought highs and lows as the Latvian racer Pauls Jonass flew through the weekend just as swiftly as he passed through that unfortunate banner…
After a week of goofing around with his team instead of opting to go on a luxurious trip to one of the nearby isles, Pauls felt well-rested and was ready to get the racing mode on. Saturday’s qualification kicked off well, Jonass being in the front of the pack and staying there the whole moto. The Latvian crossed the finish line in 4th place, a solid result to build on the following day.
On Sunday, the odds were seemingly in Jonass’ favour. After an almost-holeshot episode in the 1st moto, he quickly settled into the 2nd position and closely followed the race leader Gajser, never letting him out of the sight; however, an unlucky mistake cost him the whole race and, quite possibly, a podium. The Latvian’s motorcycle rear wheel slid on the slippery surface of the track, causing Pauls to lose control over his motorcycle and running into the advertisements placed in the corner of the track. He drove through the banners and tried to return to the track, but one of the banner had been caught up in the front wheel. Many valuable minutes were spent trying to remove it, and the young athlete rejoined the moto being dead last. When crossing the finish line, Pauls earned the 17th position. Unfortunately, the race committee decided to erase his points and opt for and DNF instead.
The 2nd race started off similarly, Pauls being in front of the pack. He once again tried to read and copy the lines from the front-runner and, by avoiding the mistake made in the previous race, came through in the 2nd position at the end of the race. Afterwards, the Latvian admitted that “there were many positives from this GP, but I know that I should have had an overall podium result. Great starts, good speed, a really strong second moto, just my mistake in the first race that undid a lot of good work from me and the team”.
Jonass continued, saying: “It was my mistake that I went off the track, but bad luck that I got some old banners stuck in my rear wheel. The race had been going really well to that point. I got a great start and felt really comfortable in second. Thankfully, I was able to come back with a strong second place result in the final moto, which is a great way to finish these two GPs in Indonesia. Overall, I feel that I have made some good progress – I’ve started to put the pieces together. My fitness is good now, I’ve improved on my starts and I’m able to race at the front for the full moto. I’m really looking forward to the final races of the championship. I want to put it all together and do my best to get strong results from the final six GPs”.
The next MXGP round will e held in two weeks time, the paddock returning to the familiar circuits of Europe.
Written by Nikola Serge
Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo