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ALL AROUND THE WORLD

Undoubtedly, one of the most exotic destinations included in the calendar of FIM FIM World Motocross Championship this year is the world’s largest island country Indonesia, hosting not one, but two rounds. Pauls managed to adjust to the change of the time zones and the humid conditions quite well, finishing 8-7 for a 7th place in the GP classification.

Saturday’s qualification kicked off badly for the Latvian, suffering from a fall in the second corner right after the gate dropped. Pauls Managed to get up, and, despite having hit his shoulder quite hard and being dead-last, decided to continue the race. He managed to catch up with the rest of the pack, fighting hard and well, his determination placing him in the 13th position when finishing the race.

Sunday brought even more humidity and heat, nothing unusual taking into account the climate zone the track in located in. After a decent start being in the middle of the pack, Pauls struggled to find the right rhythm and still felt the ache in his shoulder that carried over from the crash on Saturday. Trying to find the right lines, he ended up in the 8th place, earning a handful of points that eventually catapulted him into the 8th position in the championship overall standings.

Second moto, being mellow and quite uneventful except for the fall of the race leader Gajser in one of the first laps, was analogue to the previous race. The young athlete avoided any large missteps and placed himself in the Top7 of the fastest riders. The stability of Pauls racing proved that he can easily call himself a definite Top10 rider in the MXGP class; however, lots of work still needs to be done, especially regarding the starts.

“The crash on Saturday set the tune for the rest of the weekend as I struggled with tons of pain on both motos the following day. Aside from that, I think that the result is decent and we came through with at least a handful of points and managed to jump to the No.8 spot in the overall standings. Hopefully, the shoulder will heal up during the week so that we can show what I’m actually capable of in these humid conditions,” said the athlete.

The next venue for the MXGP championship will be Semarang, another Indonesian location which will surely bring tons of exciting racing and ethnic vibes in the paddock.

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo

BEHIND THE WIND TURBINE

Despite June 22 and 23 being a weekend full of celebrations due to summer solstice, for the Latvia motocross racer Pauls Jonass this meant once again lining up for the 10th round of FIM World Motocross Championship, which happened in Teutschenthal, Germany.

During the qualification race Pauls earned 8th place after leading a solid, steady moto. Despite not being able to tackle the Top5, the athlete was satisfied with his performance in the sneaky track. It is worth noting that after the impressive crash that Pauls had earlier during the free practice caused no real damage. The self-proclaimed freestyle rider admitted afterwards that he had only hit his tight a little, but had not sustained any other injuries.

On Sunday during the 1st moto it was visible that a long and strenuous workday was ahead of the racers. After a successful start, Pauls left the holeshot line being 6th. Unfortunately, like in so many previous races, the young athlete got arm pump as the clock was closing to the 10 minute mark, which resulted in Jonass having to slow down the pace he had uptaken. Pauls finished in the 10th place, the position being adequate for the racing performance he had shown during the race without any huge mistakes.

The start of the 2nd race as well as the race itself was one of the best runs of Jonass’ career in the MXGP class. Seconds after crossing the starting gate, Pauls managed to sit behind the race leader Tim Gajser and not let him too far out of his sight, being able to follow the Slovenian closely and pick up the better ruts. The Latvian did not lose his rhythm and finished strong, managing to come out of the MXGP of Germany with a 4th overall, losing only 1 point to the 3rd place.

“I think that we were able to get through two solid motos. I am especially delighted about the second race, during which I was fit enough to keep close to the leader and miss out on any silly mistakes. It is a pity that I was not able to pick up that 1 point which would have put me on the podium: however, there is a chance that the sight of me being closer to the front of the pack becomes more and more relevant,” says the Latvian. 

After a cheerful weekend like this, there is a bit of time to dwell on the positive memories. In two weeks time, the elite of motocross will pack their bags and sail to the exotic Indonesia for the 11th and 12th round of the MXGP.

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo

BLOODY SUNDAY

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

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

On the coast of the Black Sea lies Orylonok, the track where the 8th stage of FIM Motocross World Championship was held on June 8 and 9. The circuit is known to be one of the fastest and most dangerous stops on the calendar, athletes often reaching unbelievable speed which sporadically results in dramatic crashes. This weekend was no exception. Fortunately, the Latvian Pauls Jonass made little to no mistakes which allowed the youngster to place 7 amongst the MXGP crew.

During the qualification race on Saturday, Pauls was in 8th position for a while, then climbed up to the No.7 spot, but afterwards got passed by a couple of competitors and finished 10th. After the race the athlete admitted to having “raced quite carefully to avoid any unnecessary mistakes and trying to pick the best lines for the races on Sunday”.

On Sunday, when the air temperature reached 3o dergees Celsius, the first of the final motos was started off seemingly hopelessly for Pauls as he struggled to get a good start. Nonetheless, in his own unique manner, the Latvian managed to be amongst the Top10 riders, where he stayed throughout the whole moto, finishing 7th. Jonass started the second final heat more skillfully, being amongst the Top5 guys in the first lap, and, despite being passed afew times during the race, he still ended up finishing 6th.

“I am pleased with my performance today, when after two solid motos we came through in 7th place for the GP overall. I felt good, which is why even the heat couldn’t bring me down,” he says laconically, adding that he is more than ready for the upcoming MXGP in Latvia.

“I reckon that I will be able to surprise my supporters and fans in a good way this weekend, when I will, of course, try to fight for the highest places on the podium as well as earning more points for the overall standings,” tells the athlete, being in the No.11 spot in the championship overall standings at the moment.

As noted, the next round of FIM Motocross World Championship will be held in Kegums, Latvia, on June 15 and 16. The local support will be crucial for Pauls, so see you all on the weekend!

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo


CAN YOU FRANCE?*

The 7th round of the FIM World Motocross Championship took place in the historic circuit of Saint Jean d’Angely in the west of France. The famously cheerful French fans were once again hungry for some world-class racing, so the guys delivered what turned out to be one of the most intense races of the season.

Pauls came to the track on Friday evening amped and ready to get behind the bars the following days. Despite the excitement that was carried along from the previous weekends, the qualifying race on Saturday started off being anything but successful as Pauls struggled to find his rhythm and after a crash ended up in the 26th position at the end of the moto. Disappointed and frustrated after the race, the young athlete admitted to hoping for a better start the following day.

Sunday brought nothing but sweat and frustration when a DNF fell upon the Latvian and his Huqvarna squad. Following a decent start, Jonass was able to place himself amongst the Top 15 riders for most of the Race 1; however, three laps before the checkered flag, Pauls sensed something wighting down the wheels of his machine and pulled over into the pitlane for a check-up. Despite nothing being found wrong, it seemed almost impossible to catch up with the rest of the racers, so Pauls spent the last three laps of the race looking on from the mechanics zone.

Second race seemed to be a recap of the earlier one with Pauls fighting in the middle of the racing crew. Déjà-vuing his way through the pack, the athlete found himself crossing the finish line in the 20th position. After the emotions had settled, Pauls revealed that, despite feeling well the whole weekend, he just couldn’t make peace with the quite unsuccessful starts at the beginning of both motos and the track itself. 

“It is a shame that we have to leave this awesome circuit with just 1 point to add to the overall standings. The crash I had during Saturday’s free practice definitely impacted my performance; however, it was just a combination of unlucky circumstances that lead to me DNFing in the first race and almost falling out of the Top 20 during the second one. We have some things to dwell upon, most of which will be fixed when the next GP comes around. I feel frustrated for letting my fans down, but my team and I are motivated to turn things around in the upcoming stages of the FIM World Motocross Championship,” Jonass revealed.

The 8th stop in the FIM World Motocross Championship calendar will be in Orylonok, Russia, in less than two weeks time.

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo

STABILITY AND PORTUGAL

On May 18 and 19, the 6th stage of the FIM World Motocross Championship was held in the sunlit and renown track of Agueda in Portugal. 

At the beginning of the weekend, Pauls admitted to feeling good and once again being ready to ride amongst the world’s best motocross riders. “Last weekend, the spot on the podium definitely gave me some extra confidence. Although it was a surprise to both me and the team, and the fans, I think the hard work I have invested is beginning to pay off. I know that we are on the right path, so we just have to continue working hard,” said Jonass. It should be noted that the Portuguese track is one of Pauls’ favorite stops in the 2019 season calendar, so the athlete was in a good mood before the racing even began.

The Saturday qualifying race stated off quite unsuccessfully, with Pauls touching handlebars with teammate Arminas Jasikonis’ bike and almost crashing in the middle of the pack. Although there was no fall, the Latvian had to start the race from 17th position, which made the fight for the best possible start gate pick for the next day very difficult. At the end of the moto, Jonass was able to break into the top ten and finished in 9th place.

As it turned out later, the dismantled stability was decisive throughout the next race day. Pauls left the first turn of the starting lane being 9th, where the athlete also spent most of his time, afterwards passing two of his rivals and finishing 7th at the end of the first race. In a similar scenario, the 2nd final race took place, where Jonass spent 30 minutes being in the 7th position, which allowed the athlete to earn 6th position in the overall GP ranking. In the World Championship’s overall classification, Pauls has risen to 8th place with 137 points, with just 16 points short of his closest competitor.

“I’m pleased with what I have done this weekend. Although I was not able to get close to the race leaders or fight for the first three spots, we are happy to have had two stable races. At the moment, my weak point seems to be the starts, which often results in me being at the back of the pack and having to start the moto from there. This, of course, makes it more difficult to focus, and therefore I start to make mistakes. We will definitely continue to place great emphasis on practicing and polishing the starts,” admits the athlete.

The next FIM World Motocross Championship stage will be held ​​on May 25 and 26 in France.

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo

THUNDERSTORM BRINGS A PODIUM

After a month-long break, the world motocross elite returned to Italy, Mantova, where the 5th round of the FIM World Motocross Championship was held in the midst of thunderstorms and countless fans. Mantova is one of Pauls’ favourite Italian tracks, where a lot of his training sessions have taken place.

During April, the athlete spent long hours improving both his physical fitness and his racing technique. Lots of strenuous work was done by regulating the motorcycle settings and working with coaches and physiotherapists. “Over the past month together with the team we tried to spend as much time on the track as possible, so that I gradually start to accumulate experience that theoretically should have been acquired during the winter training period. I also participated in several stages of the Dutch Championship, where quite a few of my MXGP competitors were present, so these relative training-races were valuable for my future growth,” Jonass said on Friday night.

Despite the famously pleasant Italian weather, the weekend turned out to be damp and rainy. On Saturday’s qualifying race, Pauls succeeded unexpectedly after a phenomenal start. The young Latvian then rounded off immediately after the championship overall leader Cairoli. Although the athlete made a number of mistakes during the race that allowed rivals to pass Jonass, he managed to maintain 7th position when passing the checkered flag.

During the night from Saturday to Sunday, a storm raged across the track, leaving Mantova in puddles and causing concern in teams, riders, and fans. During the MX2 race, it was clear that this day would not be easy for anyone – several of the leading riders left the race after different technical issues. Luckily, during Pauls’ 1st moto, just like on Saturday’s racing, he started off 5th in the start, comfortably placing himself in the 4th position a moment later, where the athlete spent the first 10 minutes of the race. As the end of the race approached, Pauls managed to overtake a few more rivals, resulting in the Latvian coming out 2nd.

Race 2 was also kicked off skilfully, with Jonass already in the 4th position after the first few corners. After a short while, Pauls stepped up to the 3rd place, where he finished the 2nd moto behind Antonio Cairoli. This is the first MXGP Top3 finish in the Latvian’s career.

“I am very pleased with what has been done today. I felt comfortable on the bike yesterday during the qualifying race and today as well. Of course, we need to continue to work and develop, but it seems that the hours we have invested are beginning to pay off. Hopefully I’ll be able to show the same resultson June 15th and 16th in Kegums in front of my home crowd,” Pauls said after a conversation on Sunday.

The next World Motocross Championship stage is expected next week, when the athletes and teams will go to the sunny Agued track in Portugal.

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo

STIMULI DISGUISED AS A FALL

Pauls Jonass gained 15th place at the 4th stage of the FIM World Motocross Championship last weekend, securing his 11th position in the overall rankings. This weekend’s competition was held at the Pietramurata track in the Trentino region, one of the most traditional and scenic destinations of MXGP.

On Saturday’s qualifying race, Pauls had the 10th gate pick after a decent time practice in which he said to have had a good flow on the bike. Following a successful start, the young Latvian ranked 6th, defending the position for a large portion of the moto. After 20 minutes and 2 laps, Jonass reached the finish flag in 7th place, which is by far the athlete’s best achievement in qualifying races this year. “On Saturday we managed to have a great race, which also resulted in my best performance of the season so far. I felt good, so I was ready to fight for every position to try to get as many points as possible on Sunday,” said Jonass.

While the athletes and teams were worrying about the track’s condition before the races due to the week’s heavy rainfall, the track managers had done a great job of masterfully preparing the venue for the race. Jonass started the 1st final moto in 9th position, but a mistake in the first half of the race forced the athlete to a couple of places back, and he finished the race being 11th. “I raced steadily, and although I made a mistake that allowed two rivals to overtake me, I think the spot I earned is in line with my current racing and physical capabilities, ” Pauls admitted.

Race 2 started off unsuccessfully, when Jonass fell after one of the first corners of the track and had to start the race all over again from the last spot. By the end of the moto, the Latvian managed to move to the 19th position, where the athlete also was when crossing the finish line. “The crash happened with the athletes in front of me when I got stuck behind one of the motorcycles in front of me and had to start the race all over again. Then, of course, finding the needed rhythm was much more difficult, but I did what I could to get by as many competitors as possible on the comparatively narrow track. I’m glad I earned at least 2 points. It’s not a lot, but sometimes the difference in the championship’s overall rankings is just a couple of points, so you have to fight for each position, ”says the Latvian youngster.

Despite the crash, Jonass was optimistic after the weekend: “I hit my head and shoulder during the fall, but luckily there are no serious injuries. I have a month to continue working with the team and improve my physical fitness before the race in Mantova. I would definitely want to improve my reaction when it comes to the starting gate, which would provide an immeasurable advantage when beginning the race. Of course, somewhere in the subconscious there is also the fact that the Latvian MXGP stage is approaching fast. I hope to see every one of my fans there in two months time. ”

The next stage of the FIM World Motocross Championship will take place on May 12 in Mantova, Italy.

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo

FIGHTING THE DUTCH WINDMILLS

Last weekend, the 3rd stage of the MXGP FIM Motocross World Championship was held in Valkenswaard, a favourite amongst the many Dutch circuits . Pauls came through in 11th place, also securing the same position in the World Championship overall classification with 55 points.

In Saturday’s time practice, Jonass managed to show a great performance that led the Latvian to be the sixth athlete picking the gate before the qualifying race. Considering the relatively unfortunate start of the following moto, the youngster had to work hard to fight for a spot in the Top10. After a 20-minute and 2-lap race, Jonass finished 16th. “I really liked the track and how it was prepared. While finding the best trajectories at the end of the race became increasingly difficult, I think the organisers did a great job.” said Jonass.

The first race on Sunday started off in a similar manner to that on Saturday afternoon when Pauls failed to get a head-start amongst the top ten riders, resulting in a struggle while fighting for higher positions. As the athlete admitted after the race, his strength was gone after the first half of the moto. “I’m really dissatisfied with my performance. Unfortunately, after the first 20 minutes I was done physically, so the next part of the race was a game of survival. I decided not to risk anything, and if I felt that any other rider was about to pass me, I chose not to fight in hopes to avoid unnecessary mistakes and getting injured. ”

The start of the second moto was more optimistic, and during the first half of the race Pauls could be found amongst the fastest athletes in 7th place. “Although the second heat was better than the first one, I still couldn’t go full speed due to the lack of fitness. At the moment, it is clear that I should focus more on the physical fitness aspects of my preparation and training, so that situations like this occur as rarely as possible. ”

Jonass took 11th and 14th positions in races, ending the MXGP of The Netherlands in No11 spot. “I’m disappointed in myself. Of course, I wanted to please both the team and my faithful fans, but I hope I can do it in one of the next stages. I’m determined to work even harder and prove that, despite the fact that this is my first season in the MXGP class, I deserve to be in the Top10 of the best riders.” says the dedicated athlete.

The 4th stage of the MXGP race series is expected to be held next weekend at the picturesque Pietramurata track in Trentino, Italy.

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo

HIGH TEA WITH A FLAVOUR OF THE TOP TEN

On March 23 and 24, Matterley Basin circuit once again hosted the MXGP FIM Motocross World Championship round. Thousands of motocross enthusiasts were gathered in the sunlit Matterley park, Latvian flags being no rarity alongside the track.

After a conversation on Friday, Pauls admitted to feeling good despite the health problems he had gone through after the Argentine stage of the season, which prevented the athlete from doing any training at all for a whole week. Matterley Basin track is definitely one of Jonass’ favourite stops in the season’s race calendar since it was here that his championship title of the EMX125 class was won in 2013. 

On Saturday, the track was in a great condition, as noted after the athletes’ many positive comments. Pauls kicked off his qualifying race being just outside the Top 10, then gradually fighting and trying to get past as many other riders as possible. After the finish, where Jonass ranked 13th, the athlete admitted that “because of a relatively unsuccessful start, he had to make a lot of effort to gain a couple of positions and to secure the final spot at the end of the race”.

Sunday’s first moto began on the same note as the previous day’s qualifying race, Pauls starting from the 13th position. During the race, the athlete was bouncing back and forth between positions, at some point even being at the 10th spot. At the end of the race the Latvian managed to finish fourteenth. “Durning the first moto I was riding quite timidly, and, when I found the right rhythm, there was not much time left to fight for a spot in the Top 10. Before the start I felt good, but during the race my racing did not go as I had intended it to, ” said the athlete.

Pauls started the second race by being 6th, a position in which he spent a large portion of the race. In the second half of the moto, several athletes approached Jonass and after fierce battles managed to pass the Latvian, guaranteeing him the 11th position both in the race and in the overall ranking. “For the first 15 minutes of the race I felt great, which reflected in my racing and the result shown. Unfortunately, I started to get tired later and made a number of mistakes that reduced my speed and allowed my rivals to pass me. I am definitely not in my best shape in terms of physical fitness, but I hope to be able to say something diametrically different in a couple of months,” admits the athlete, adding that, despite the loss of the 10th position in the last lap, he remains optimistic.

“I’m not completely satisfied with my performance this weekend, but we mustn’t forget the fact that my time spent training on a bike is still relatively tiny, so we shouldn’t expect miracles. The team is pleased with my performance, and, just like after Argentina, we have specified things that need to be improved. Now the primary goal is to continue racing and spend as much time on the motorcycle as possible. We will definitely continue to test the bike settings to get the most out of the upcoming MXGP next weekend in the Netherlands, as well as all the future race destinations. The team and I are positive, so the amount of work done will only increase. I hope that I will be able to be more consistent in the next stages and gradually secure a definite place for myself in the Top 10 of the pack,” he adds cheekily.

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo

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