Round 1 – Matterley Basin
The 2020 season of FIM Motocross Wolrd Championship kicked off in the well-known and beloved track of Matterley Basin in the vicinity of Wincester, Great Britain. After a long winter of physical and mental preparation and testing, the fastest motocross racers on the planet once again gathered for the season opener on what seemed to develop as a freezing weekend.
Pauls Jonass, the recently turned 23-year old, came to Matterly with great expectations upon his shoulders – unlike last year, in 2020 pre-season there were no setbacks to hold the Latvian youngster from showing his best results yet. Despite the ever so strong line-up, with names like Gajser, Helings, Cairoli, Prado, and many more decorating the list of title contenders, Pauls, cheerful as per usual, was looking forward to a great weekend of intense racing.
On Saturday, marking the first leap year of the decade with grim clouds and rainfall, nothing went as planned. The pitlane that the MXGP crew had built was destroyed by the gusty winds just as quickly, leaving the organisers with a pile of metal and more than 100 riders eager to geto on the track. The races were delayed, and it was decided that instead of having both a time practice and qualifying race, the main two classes – MX2 and MXGP – will have to do with with just the initial one to determine who’ll secure the top spot for the motos on Sunday.
As the riders enetered the circuit, rain started pouring. Needless to add that the wind did not help either, having many racers covered in jackets and shaking while dicsussing their lap times in the pitlane area. The Latvian did, depite the unfortunate weather circumstances, deliver a solid and swift ride on the first try, landing himself in the 5th position which determined his chances for picking a better spot the following day.
As Sunday arrived, so did the trouble again. After a what seemed to be a hopeless fisrt corner of the opening race of the 2020 season, Pauls found himself falling over and starting the race from dead-last position. As the race went on, the Latvian managed to gain more than 20 positions, finishing the race in 12th place. The second moto did not leave room for errors, bringing a DNF due to a fall early in the race which cost the brakes to be ripped off. Unfortunately, Pauls couldn’t continue the race and had to watch the rest of the season opener from the sidelines.
After the British MXGP, Jonass was a man of few words: “Clearly it’s not been the weekend me or the team had hoped for, but we’ll move on from it and focus on next weekend’s GP. I know I’m capable of doing a lot better than what we got this weekend. The first race wasn’t what we wanted but the crash in race two was a big one. It could have been really bad, so we move on and look to get things back on track next weekend.”
The next round of the 2020 season will be held amongst the tulip fields in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, in one week’s time.
Written by Nikola Serge
Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo