What a weekend the first round was for Pauls Jonass as he the man all weekend long. Fastest in every session and winning both of the moto’s, a weekend doesn’t get much better than that! The world champ got tested in the first moto when he didn’t get the best of starts and Hunter Lawrence was holding the lead. However, Jonass put on a charge, caught the Aussie and pulled out the first moto victory. The second moto was much more straightforward as he controlled things at the front and won by over five seconds.
Jonass is happy with the start to his season but knows there’s still plenty of work to do before clnching his second world title. “I did not expect to win every single session when we went on the track. It is a boost for us but we won’t let it get to our heads too much because there is still a long way to go. The new bike worked so well and we can see all that testing and work in the off-season paid off.” Jonass revealed.
After finishing the 2017 season third in the MX2 World Championship, Thomas Kjer Olsen’s next goal is to become world champion! You can certainly lose the championship during the first round but you can’t win it so for ‘TKO’ to end up on the box with a second overall going 3-2 in the moto’s is a good start to the season. The Danish talent is a big guy and for that reason he’s not the best starter so doesn’t make things easy for himself. You feel if his starts were better he could win plenty of GP’s but either way it’s looking like a good season for the ex EMX250 champ.
After ending the 2017 season so strong, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favourites for the title. He had the lead in the first moto and the best lap time too but just couldn’t keep Jonass behind him but he should be pleased with his start, he was second on the first lap – we didn’t see that from him often last year. In the second moto he couldn’t replicate the same start as he was around fifteenth on the first lap. Lawrence was absolutely flying though and got up to eighth by the end of lap one. He was as high as fourth but then seemed to suffer a little bit, perhaps he gave it his all too soon and got a little tired. He got passed by Watson and Vlaanderen so the Aussie won’t be happy but a podium at round one is always positive. When it gets to the hard pack tracks that were he’ll have a chance to gain points on Jonass.
Talk about close, Ben Watson missed the podium by just one point! The Brit is certainly loving his new ride, the Kemea Yamaha and working with Jacky Vimond looks to be working a treat. Watson ended up fourth in both the moto’s for a fourth overall, that’s his most impressive ride to date. If there’s one area he can improve, at the start of the second moto, Watson lost a few positions as the first five minutes is always very intense! If he can improve his intensity at the start of the moto’s then a podium might just be around the corner.
The F&H Racing team can be happy with Jed Beaton’s performance during the first round of the series. Beaton is a very determined and that seems to help him when he’s racing in the MX2 series. Seventh and eighth in the moto’s for round one is great for the Aussie, if he can improve his starts then top five results might not be out of question. Marc de Reuver already seems to be having good impact on the Aussie.
Things haven’t been looking to good for Russian rider, Vsevolod Brylyakov coming into this race as he was fairly off the pace in pre-season. The shoulder injury he picked up was definitely a lot worse than first thought so he’ll need a few rounds before we see the best of him. However, all in all it was a good weekend for the Russian, starts weren’t great for him but he worked his way up and secured two ninth placed finishes. That will give him confidence and hopefully it’s not long before we see the best of him again as he’s a rider with plenty of potential. Brylyakov was happy with how things went, “The weekend didn’t get off to the best start, but overall Sunday went quite good. I was ninth in both races, that is consistent and I am quite happy with the result and to start the season like this.”
It’s fair to say the last few years haven’t been the best for German, Henry Jacobi but it looks like he’s put in the hard work required over winter. The STC Husqvarna rider got a great start in the first moto as he was sixth in the first lap and looked really comfortable too. The German actually pushed forward and ended up fifth, his career best finish in MX2. Jacobi couldn’t replicate the start in moto two as he as outside the top fifteen and due to that ended up sixteenth which shows the depth of the class! Seventh overall was a great first round and that should give him confidence that he can run with the guys at the front.
HRC Honda MX2 rider Calvin Vlaanderen is really fast, he’s another one that’s put in the hard work over winter and is looking like a different rider. Unfortunately, a crash in the first moto ruined any chance of a good overall result as he only had time to come back to eighteenth. The second moto was a different story as he made some lovely moves and was feeling comfortable around the Argentine track. He secured fifth in the second moto but you feel with another lap he’d have had Watson too. Honestly, after the speed he should it would be quite surprising if he didn’t secure plenty of podiums this season as he’s looking great.
Belgian rookie, Jago Geerts deserves a mention too. He secured ninth overall at his first fly away Grand Prix race. The second moto he looked comfortable running the pace of some of the MX2 regulars. A ninth overall is a great way to start of the season, keep an eye on this kid as he’s special.
Article: Andy McKinstry