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We caught up with Pauls before he flew off to Argentina for the first GP of the year. Take a look!

Pauls, when the season of 2017 finished, for how long were you able to relax and not think about racing? I didn’t get a lot of downtime because the first week after returning home was spent by giving interviews and by participating in many different events, so I could not fully step away from motocross. Nonetheless, I got to get some rest eventually. For about two weeks I did almost nothing to let my body rest at least a bit; also, I didn’t have any practices with my bike for over 6 weeks! What was I doing then, you might ask? I finally managed to spend some quality time with my family, now we had the time to have fun together and go to some different happenings.

In the off-season you decided to opt for Harry Everts as your new racing coach. Do you feel that it was a big change compared to the previous season? Yes, this season I’ll have a new coach – Harry Everts – who is also the father of the ten-times Motocross World Champion Stefan Everts. To be honest, I don’t really feel asi f anything has changed too much since I had worked with him a couple of years ago and already knew his way of working. I am beyond satisfied with the work that my team and I have put in throughout the off-season. Eventually we will see how it’ll show itself on the track.

You number plate will hold the No.1 this year. How hard or easy was this choice since everyone has always associated you with the number 41? The decision wasn’t easy at all, I thought about it a lot; I opted to go for it on the last minute. I mean, not everyone is given the chance to rock the No.1 plate so I might as well do it just for the thrill of it. If I’m not mistaken, the number 41 has been on my bike since 2007; during my career, I have had 741, 141, and, of course, 41 on both my bike and my racing jersey.

Have you had some radical changes in your training plan while preparing for the upcoming season? Not really, I’ve been using the same training plan I used before. Of course, there are some little things that had to change but in general it’s the same plan we had last year.

Did you manage to achieve everything that was planned during the off-season? Yes, the off-season was very productive and we reached every goal that we aimed at at the beginning of the season.

What do you know about your rivals? Of course I am aware of my main rivals with whom I will have to battel for the highest places; however, I do not pay much attention to that. I focus on the work that I have to do to prepare for the season to the best of my abilities.

Are you satisfied with the results you showed at the pre-MXGP season races? Obviously I could have done better but I’m quite satisfied anyway since I did not injure myself or crash * too * hard. It was great to feel the race athmosphere once again.

What’s the main goal for this season? Of course, to defend my World Champion title and keep my No.1 plate at the end of the season. This is my last year in the MX2 class so I want to make it another year to remember and earn the title once again.

What are your expectations from this season and what would you like to tell your fans? This season will definitely be a long one since we have 19 GPs to go to, so I’d like to wish all my fans to be patient. The upcoming battles will be tough, and there might be stages where I’m not on the top but I will try to give my best at every race and fight for the pride of my country. Lets not forget that I wish to see everyone at my home GP which will take place in Kegums. I’ll definitely try to do everything in my power to make my fans happy so that at the end of the day we can all sing the national anthem of Latvia.

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