For some, the MXGP of Imola promised to be one of the highlights of the whole season. For others, it was just another round trying to climb the ladder of the championship points overall classification. Pauls found himself somewhere in the middle, demonstrating some skilful riding, yet coming out just a bit short of a podium-finish.
Jonass kicked off the weekend on a good note, finding himself in the 4th position after the first four laps of qualifying race on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Latvian once again suffered from arm-pump, which lead to him falling back a bunch of positions and ending up in 8th place when reaching the checkered flag. “I am kind of bummed about the positions I lost during the quali heat,” admitted Jonass. “I was riding really well and even tried to catch up with the Top3 guys, but, as it has happened before, arm-pump kicked in and I couldn’t do anything about it but just slowly fall back into the pack.”
On Sunday, the atmosphere at the track was electrifying. Thousands of Slovenian fans flooded in to witness their local hero Tim Gajser claim his 3rd World Championship title. In the meantime, there was no gifting him the sought-after championship points. Many riders, Pauls included, did everything in their power to overshadow the Slovenian. After a great start in the first moto, Jonass found himself amongst the first four riders again, at one point even climbing up to the No.3 spot. A mistake cost him to fall back to 8th position, yet the young athlete managed to recover and finish being 6th.
Second race was quite similar, Pauls flirting with the No.3 spot for most of the race; however, it was Jeremy Seewer who managed to finish inside the Top3. At the end of the race, Pauls was passed by another rival and ended up placing 5th, a solid finish that bought the same position in the MXGP of Italy overall chart.
“I’m happy with 5th place, but felt we could have done a little better. I got decent starts in both races, so that is a really positive change. We were able to identify a few places where I was losing a little time, and I know I still need to work on my strength for riding the 450cc, especially on a technicals surfaces like the one today. The track was heavy going and quite slippery in places, like on the take offs of the jumps – a lot of the time one had to fire out the corners really hard to clear them, and that was pretty tricky. We had good pace today and a good set up – just need to work on bringing it all together and saving the smoothness throughout the whole race. It’s MXGP of Sweden next, which is one of my favourite circuits, so I’m looking forward to that,” smiled Jonass.
As mentioned before, the next stage of the FIM Motocross World Championship will be taking place next weekend in the scenic circuit of Uddevalla in Sweden.
Written by Nikola Serge
Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo