Who impressed: MX2 at Ernee
1. Benoit Paturel – The Frenchman finally got a good start and showed what he could do! Paturel has had a tough time getting himself in position to win races, but in front of his home crowd he got the start and held strong under pressure from championship protagonists Pauls Jonass and Jeremy Seewer to take his first moto win of the season. Paturel was supposed to be the third member of the title challengers and while he is still far back in the points, it shows that with the starts he can ride at that level.
2. Pauls Jonass – Jonass impresses me every time he races this season. He has married speed and consistency, something only the truly elite manage to do. In France he bounced back from a mediocre but safe performance in Germany (still on the podium) to win at Ernee. Under pressure Jonass has been superb, he can ride his own race with someone right on his back wheel and barely make a mistake. Jonass has transformed himself into the complete rider this season, I still feel he is underrated by some but this kid is the real deal. He battled Gajser in 2015 for the title, and ran with Ferrandis last season ( and we can see how competitive his speed is in the 250 class in the US right now). Jonass’ speed is top quality and he is now avoiding the big crashes that became more famous than his talent. Coming back to win in France after Germany really cemented his place as the guy to beat in MX2 in 2017.
3. Hunter Lawrence – This kid is a special talent and his results are now showing his true potential. Third and fourth in the last two GPs, Lawrence has the American technical style of the 90s combined with the necessary GP versatility on any terrain, it could be a deadly combination. It took him a while to find the consistency in MX2 and get his starts sorted, but when he puts it together you see his true talent shine. It was a brilliant move by Stefan Everts to get him on a Suzuki and Kawasaki must regret it everyday that they lost him! Lawrence also showed his determination in the first moto to keep going despite a gearbox issue that saw him stuck in one gear and still finished fifth! Don’t be surprised if he wins a GP before the season is out!
4. Conrad Mewse – Conrad Mewse has made the single biggest improvement this season. Struggling for points at the beginning of the year, Mewse came back in France after missing a round with an ankle injury to go top ten. Mewse is now showing he speed we heard he had at the practice track all season. All of the UK will have their fingers crossed that Mewse can be the guy to get a world title back to Britain for the first time since Jamie Dobb in 2001.
5. Stephen Rubini – It has been a very difficult season for Stephen Rubini and the factory Kawasaki team. Rubini has been moved from MX2 to EMX2 and back to MX2 all with limited success but the French youngster finally showed why he has the ride with a top ten overall in France. Yes it was on home ground, but that is the level Rubini is capable of when he rides to his potential. He is talented and is still young, like Mewse it is about putting the pieces of the puzzle together and Rubin’s results in France show that the puzzle might finally just be coming together!