JONASS MAKES MX2 FIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
Holder of the red plate since round five, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass finally changed the background shade to gold at the nineteenth and last race of the 2017 Motocross World Championship.
Pauls Jonass only needed to finish in the top twelve if title rival Jeremy Seewer won the opening MX2 moto but #41 made history by becoming the first FIM Motocross World Champion from Latvia, the sixth in MX2 for KTM since 2008 and the seventh in total since the category was established in 2004 through scoring fifth position. Pauls already dealt with the nerves and expectation with a solid run to second place in Saturday’s Qualification and although he crashed at the start of the first MX2 moto, produced another comeback performance to be welcomed by a champagne reception at the finish line. Jonass rode to a steady third place in the second moto and was fourth overall; missing the podium for only the second time since the fifth round of the series.
Jonass’ success came off the back of a streak of consistency unmatched this year in Grand Prix racing. He scaled the MX2 box fifteen times and scored points in every single moto. Winning six Grands Prix and owning fourteen of the thirty-eight motos.
Jonass: “It has been my dream since I started riding to be world champion and I accomplished that in the first moto. I made it tough for myself by crashing in the second corner then got up, cleaned everything and crashed in the next corner! I started from dead last but could finish fifth for the championship. My motivation was a bit down for the second moto but I was feeling good by the end and started to ‘go’. Fifteen podiums from nineteen is a pretty good season and I’m looking forward for some holidays! I’m also happy to finish the year without injury so we can go straight into preparing for 2018 after some time off.”
Teammate Jorge Prado closed an impressive debut Grand Prix term with a 14-7 for eighth overall. The Spaniard made five podium results and celebrated three victories; the most for a rookie in the four-stroke era. He was seventh in the final MX2 table.
Dirk Gruebel, MX2 Team Manager: “We have an amazing record in the class and Pauls did a fantastic job today to keep that running. Over the years we’ve proved that it is not only the bike because a number of riders have won championships, even a dark horse like Jordi Tixier in 2014. But Pauls this year rode so well. He made it a little bit too exciting at times! The start of the year was a bit rocky with that bad luck in Indonesia in round two but he stayed calm and began collecting points. He was just so consistent. It was an outstanding job and we’re really happy.”