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On September 7 and 8 in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey, the second-to-last round of the FIM Motocross World Championship was held. The young Latvian rider Pauls Jonass earned his sweet spot on the podium, finishing 2-5 for a 3rd place overall.

Even before actually being in Turkey, Pauls was already excited since the following round was something different from the European vibe in the paddock that everyone’s already used to. Despite Turkey being the place where Jonass lost his hopes for a consecutive world title last year after colliding with Jorge Prado after one of the jumps and injuring his ACL, he was well over it this year. After a terrible start during Saturday’s qualification, Pauls fought his way up from dead-last to 9th, passing his rivals one by one. “Unfortunately, I fell right after the start and had to start all over again. I have to admit, I am quite happy with how the rest of the race turned out, and, despite the lack of time, I think I did a pretty good job,” admitted Jonass right after the quali heat.

It was proven once again on Sunday that Pauls has his mind and his muscles in all the right places. After a spectacular holeshot, the Latvian lead the whole MXGP pack for about a lap, later being passed by Jeffrey Herlings. This did not discourage Jonass, and he kept following the leader for the rest of the race, losing just 5 seconds at the end and finishing 2nd.

The next moto started off comparatively worse, yet Pauls was still in the Top10. He continued fighting for a higher position, and after eight laps winded up 5th, where he stayed for the remaining of the moto. The points he had earned were enough for Pauls to once again claim the 3rd step of the podium next to Jeffery Herlings and Glenn Coldenhoff. After this GP, Jonass is now in the 6th position in the championship classification, having passed his teammate Arminas Jasikonis.

“I felt great the whole weekend. To be honest, I wish the season wouldn’t come to and end this quickly since I’m finally used to the bike, its’ settings, the elements of each track… Of course, there’s one more round to go. And then there are the Nations, where I’ll be racing alongside Davis Ivanovs and Toms Macuks, representing Team Latvia. Hopefully I can make the most of it, so that the closure of the season is on a positive note and serves as a good motoivation for next year,” revealed Pauls after the MXGP of Tureky.

The next stop of the championship is Hong Kong in China, where the medals will be awarded and the season of 2019 will come to and end.

Written by Nikola Serge

Image by Juan Pablo Acevedo

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