For many motocross fans in Latvia, June 15 and 16 were dates full of joy and excitement – circuit “Zelta Zirgs” hosted the FIM Motocross World Championship, bringing world-class athletes, the Latvian hero Pauls Jonass included, to the renown track. Despite Jonass not being able to surprise his followers with a podium finish, he ended his home GP going 17-6 for a 12th place overall.
Pauls showed impressive speed during Saturday’s qualification, leading half of the race in front of his home crowd. Unfortunately, after around 10 minutes in, the arm-pump kicked in and Jonass slowly drifted back, getting passed by various competitors. “Sadly, my arms got quite tired and I couldn’t keep up the pace that we had picked up,” admitted the athlete.
The Latvian started off the 1st final heat from the back of the pack after crashing in one of the first corners. After a few laps, another crash came about, which led to Pauls desperately trying to pass the relatively weaker racers just to get closer to the Top10. Shortly before the final laps, Jonass made a costly mistake at the far end of the track, hitting his head against the handlebars and rupturing his eyelid. A terrible sight could by seen by every spectator – the maroon and white jersey of Jonass was splashed with blood for head to toes. After finished 17th, Pauls received the needed medical inspection and had stitches placed on his wound.
Before even getting dressed for race 2, the young athlete had to seriously consider whether he could participate or not due to various health concerns. After receiving an approval from the medical team, Pauls went on to grabbing a decent start, being amongst the Top10 riders at the beginning of the race. Fighting his way up, the youngster ended up finishing 6th in his home MXGP.
After the eventful day the Latvian expressed his disappointment regarding the performance during the first moto. “I do not think that it was the pressure of a home race that caused me to make so many mistakes. Despite being more anxious than usual, I believe that it was the track which tricked my whit it’s seemingly sandy, yet slick surface and different bumps and ruts,” Pauls dwellls when asked about his thoughts on his performance at the MXGP of Latvia.
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will be held in a weeks time in Germany. See you there!
Written by Nikola Serge
Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo