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Interview: Pauls Jonass

Interview: Pauls Jonass
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Pauls Jonass came close to winning a world title last year and is currently running top three in the championship in 2016 underlining his status as potential world champion in the future.

Jonass had a few inconsistent races recently but in the last couple of weeks has shown his potential on the hard pack and impressed again at Matterley Basin, even passing Herlings early in race one to lead for ten minutes.

We caught up with Jonass to discuss his season and impressive ride at Matterley.

Gatedrop: Pauls, good weekend for you back on the podium, you must be pleased with how it went.

Pauls Jonass:  In the end it was a pretty good weekend, it’s good to be back on the podium. Just yesterday (Saturday) I had so much bad luck. I hit the gate because the gate bounced and one guy took me out, I hit the banners and my bike got stuck in the fence. I just had to come back the best I could but the bike was bent because the crash was really big, I could only make it back to twenty-fourth place, a bad gate pick. In the first moto the start turned out pretty good and I ended up leading the pack in the second corner. It was pretty good but in the last lap with a few corners to go Jeremy Seewer past me, I was pretty mad and I tried to bring that anger for motivation for the second moto. The same thing almost happened in the second moto, in the last lap he again passed me but then he made a mistake and I think he crashed so I finished third. I’m back on the podium so it’s pretty good, after yesterday (Saturday), I don’t think many people expected me to make the podium so it’s not so bad to be on the podium again.

Gatedrop: In the first moto you looked really comfortable leading and then following Jeffrey but would it be fair to say you lost some speed in the second half of the moto and dropped back?

Pauls Jonass: Yeah, I was a little bit sick yesterday (Saturday) so also today (Sunday) I don’t feel like 100%.  The first half, not even the first half actually, more the first ten minutes I felt really good. After that I started to ride a little bit tight and couldn’t find my flow, I wasn’t that tired but just stiff on the bike.  Also, after the crash yesterday (Saturday) my upper body is pretty stiff so it also made it a little bit more difficult. I just need to continue to work hard, next week we have Mantova GP and then we have one-month break. So, one more race and then we can almost go on a holiday (laughs).

Gatedrop: In the second moto Ferrandis passed you but in the second half you started to catch him again, you must have been happy with your speed in the second moto?

Pauls Jonass: Yeah, for sure, the speed was not so bad.  It could be better for sure because during the week we rode in practice and I felt really good. Today, I just couldn’t make the best out of it I think because for sure I know I can go faster and be stronger at the end of the moto.  Like I said, the sickness made it a little bit more difficult but still, it was a good race and I’m happy to be back on the podium.

Gatedrop:  Last year you made huge progress during winter and you’ve had another winter behind you, do you think this is the best you’re riding on hard pack?

Pauls Jonass:  Yeah, for sure we work a little more on the hard pack riding.  Before this race we tried to ride more hard pack and I feel a lot more confident on the hard pack because that was my weak point last year. Still, now we can improve a lot and I just need to continue to work and it will be good.

Gatedrop:  Last year you were working with Stefan Everts and you always had good things to say about him. However, this year you are working with Joel Smets as he has moved to KTM, how is it working with him?

Pauls Jonass: Last year Stefan was more like a trainer for me and now Joel has many more riders to look after so it’s a little bit more difficult. He’s not always there after practice but he’s doing his best and we always try to get the best out of every single situation.

Gatedrop: There’s a few sand GP’s coming up, are you looking forward to racing in the sand again?

Pauls Jonass: For sure, I am excited to go back to the sand as I like sand. Last year, I put in some pretty decent results and more sand riding for me as I’m staying in Belgium and almost everywhere is sand so I’m looking forward to that for sure.  I will try to get closer to second place in the championship.

Gatedrop: At the moment if you podium you are happy. However, if Jeffrey Herlings moves to MXGP next year, the goal will change for you as you’ll want that championship..

Pauls Jonass: Yeah, for sure that’s the goal and also this year. Not every I get on the podium I am happy, also today in the first moto it wasn’t so good. I am trying to make the best out of every single situation and for next season we will see what Jeffrey will do.  For sure, we will go for the world title.

Gatedrop: At the moment you guys are getting over looked a little because of Jeffrey, are you looking forward to try and be the main man in the class?

Pauls Jonass: For sure, I think that also brings more pressure but there is still a lot of racing to go this season so I don’t think so much for next season. I am trying to stay focused on this season and I will do my best and then we will see for the next one.

Gatedrop: You are still really young; do you know how many more full seasons you have left in MX2?

Pauls Jonass: I’m not actually totally sure on that one but I think four because I am nineteen now so I think it’s four seasons’ still.

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Pic: Youthstream

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