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The first round of the MXGP World Motocross Championship season was held on March 2 and 3 at the Nequen circuit in Patagonia, Argentina, which gathers thousands of motocross fans and enthusiasts from all over the globe, partially thanks to its paradise-like surroundings and sky-blue lakes. This stage of the championship was quite special for Pauls not only because Nequen is one of his favourite tracks, but also due to the fact that this was his debut in the royal MXGP class, consisting of the best motocross athletes in the world.

The young Latvian kicked off the qualification race in 4th position, but slowly got pushed down the pack by other title contenders. “I was incredibly nervous; I mean, this is my first time racing with the “big boys” in the MXGP class. I’m glad that it’s over, to be honest.”admitted Jonass after the 20 minute plus 2 laps long race that he finished in the 18th position.

The first race on Sunday started off quite well for Jonass, as he managed to be amongst the first riders coming out of the first turn. After a few laps, he was already accommodated himself in a comfortable spot, sporadically fighting off the guys trying to move up the pack. A mistake in the last lap cost Pauls a Top 8 finish, ending his first ever heat as a MXGP racer in 9th position.

Race 2 kicked off on a slightly different note by the young Latvian being somewhere in the back; however, by the end of lap one, Pauls had already managed to fight up to the 13th position. After 30 minutes and 2 laps, the race had come to and end, Jonass crossed the finish line being in the 12th place, which, combined with his first moto finish, gave him a 10th position overall.

“I am quite satisfied with my result. Of course, there’s lots of room for improvement and tons of work has to be done, one of the main targets being more time on the bike, be it a practice or a race situation. After yesterday’s qualification race I was not too happy, yet we managed to turn things around today, and I am delighted to say that I finished my first ever race as a MXGP race inside the Top 10,” Pauls revealed after the races.

The next MXGP stage will be happening on March 23 and 24 in Matterley Basin, Great Britain. “Our plan for now is to work on my weak spots and riding technique. I still have to get used to riding with my 450cc machine, but that can only be done by racing,” he grins.

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo

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