Pauls Jonass clinched his first MX2 World Championship title in 2017 and is battling to win two on the bounce. The Latvian started the season unbelievably well as after the first three rounds he won every single moto – it couldn’t have started any better.
Lately though, Jorge Prado has upped his game and making it more difficult for the MX2 World Champion. There’s currently just twenty-two points between the pair in the battle for the MX2 World Championship so it could be set for quite the battle.
If Jonass clinches the title it means he has to move up due to the rules that if you win two in a row then you must move up to the MXGP World Championship. However, Jonass exclusively told us he’s planning on riding the MXGP class next even if he doesn’t win the title, “It will still be decided but you know I’m lets say focused on moving up to MXGP, I want to make steps forward and move forward”.
We caught up with Pauls after he finished second at the German round of the MX2 World Championship.
Gatedrop: Pauls, we are here at round eight of the MX2 World Championship in Germany. Can you just talk me through your day?
Pauls Jonass: Actually the day went pretty okay I would say. I felt good around the track all day. In the first moto I was second behind Jorge (Prado) but I could pass him really quickly, around the second corner which was pretty good. At this track it’s difficult to pass and it’s always good to get out in front during the first laps and just ride your lines. In the second race I battled with Jorge for the holeshot and then he pulled it out. I was third on the first lap behind Jacobi but I managed to pass him pretty quick. Jorge pulled out a lead during the first laps, I tried to close the gap but I couldn’t do it. He was riding really good but it was good, I didn’t lose anything in the championship. I’m a little bit disappointed I didn’t get the win but overall it was not such a bad weekend.
Gatedrop: In the second moto where you giving everything you had to push Prado or were you happy with second? The championship is the bigger picture at the end of the day!
Pauls Jonass: You know, I tried to push to catch up with him but I didn’t push over the limit because at this track it was easy to make a mistake and easy to crash. I didn’t want to make any big mistake because now I only lose three points but if I crashed, I could have lost twenty-five, you know? I was also thinking a little bit about that and that was maybe the reason why I couldn’t close the gap so quick. Overall was not so bad and the next GP is in England, I’ve rode the track and I’m really looking forward to that one.
Gatedrop: The first three GP’s went perfect for you as you won 6 from 6 but lately Prado has upped his game, is that frustrating you a little bit?
Pauls Jonass: No, I mean the beginning of the season went really good, I felt awesome. I had a little dip like in Italy and Portugal I struggled a little bit. The last three races I haven’t been dominating but I’ve always been on a podium which is pretty good to be consistent. Last weekend in Latvia I had bad luck at the second start, I was behind and it’s difficult to close the gap when you’re really behind. To pass these guys are hard, everyone is riding really well. Also, to pass at this track was difficult, you could see in the MXGP race they couldn’t pass, it was like a train at times. It’s not frustrating but for sure I want to win and that’s what we will work on.
Gatedrop: In the MX2 class, there seems to be a lot of cutting across each other on the start and it looked like Prado cut across you during the qualifying moto. Did it go on during the main races and from your perspective whats your thoughts on it?
Pauls Jonass: You know, when you are out in front you can do what you want. You can cross or you can go straight, that’s okay. Also, in the first moto he crossed over a little bit but I can understand him. I’m his main rival for the championship and he wants to close the gap. In the second moto I tried to close him but we were really next to each other so in the end he was a little bit out in front so I couldn’t do anything. That’s okay, that’s racing, for sure it’s better to play fair but it’s nothing bad, I will not cry about that.
Gatedrop: Just on the future, if you win the MX2 World Championship this year it mmeans you have to go to MXGP next year but even if you don’t end up winning do you think we will see you in MXGP anyway?
Pauls Jonass: It will still be decided but you know I’m lets say focused on moving up to MXGP, I want to make steps forward and move forward. That’s my main goal and that’s why I want to move up to the MXGP class.
Pics: Martin Plesnik
Interview: Arnold Kamper