Pauls Jonass had an eventful time of it at the Grand Prix of Turkey and, bearing that in mind, most think of it as being a bad event for him. Six points were gained on Jorge Prado on the day though, so it actually worked out quite well! Jonass was available to cover everything that happened, both the highs and the lows, at round eighteen of the FIM Motocross World Championship in this exclusive MX Vice interview.
MX Vice: Obviously today started out rough. It did not look like it was going to be good, but in the end you won a moto and pulled back some points. You have got to be leaving here kind of happy at least.
Pauls Jonass: For sure. I was feeling great all weekend and also in the first moto. I took a good start, managed to pass Jorge [Prado] straight away and led the first minutes of the race. Just let's say cruising around. I was feeling really good. Then Jorge came close to me on the finish line jump there. I knew that he was there on the inside, but I did not expect that he was going to jump there or something. Then we came together in the air and had a huge crash. A little bit twist my knee and stretched a little bit the ligaments. Just after when I started riding it was difficult.
In every corner I was checking out my knee and not feeling good, so I did not know what to expect for the second moto with my knee. Then, thanks to the team physio, we fixed the knee. We taped it up. It was better in the second moto. Got a good start again and was fourth or fifth. Came to the second straightaway behind Thomas Covington. I tried to push him, but I did not want to make any big mistakes. The first ten minutes were really difficult with my knee, because in every corner I was checking out. I was scared to put it on the ground or twist it again, but I just tried to put pressure on Thomas.
Four laps to go he made a mistake and crashed, then I managed to take the win. It is pretty good to finish the weekend with a win, but it could be better. I am a little bit disappointed about the first moto, but still going 6-1 for second overall. We gained six points in the championship. It is not the worst scenario.
Obviously everyone on social media is trying to figure out who is to blame in the crash with you and Jorge. I kind of feel like, seeing as it was a fast chicane, it was just a racing incident. He kind of had the line, but you had it too. It just funnels into one, so there is not much either of you could do, I don’t think.
For sure if you are Jorge he will tell different if you ask. There are many opinions, but from my side of view, I was taking the same line every lap and he knew that I was going there. If I was not there and he did not touch, he would just jump straight out from the track. He carried so much speed from inside and jumped straight. For sure if you ask him he will say that that's my mistake. For sure it is a racing incident, but I think he could wait a bit if he wanted to make a move. Luckily I am not too seriously injured and I will be ready to battle again in Assen.
Did you even sense that he was coming up the inside of you or was it a complete surprise to you?
I knew that he was on the inside because in the jump, I knew that he was coming there, but I did not expect that he was so close and he was going to do that. That was a big surprise for me, because I saw him only when he already took off. If I would have seen him earlier, then I would brake down and cut to the inside or something. It was a big surprise.
The knee is not going to be anything that stops you from training before Assen? You are not going to have to take time off for this thing, are you?
No, for sure. I will go tomorrow to the doctor and check it out, but it is nothing serious. We checked already with the team physio. He said it is only a little bit maybe stretched ligaments. It is nothing really serious, but it is a little bit swelling up now. Maybe I will need to take some days off with the riding, going first day on the bike maybe Thursday or something. But for sure I can still do cycling and all kinds of stuff like that. It will not stop me from training. We will be ready to battle in Assen.
Do you feel like you’re in an awkward position in the championship? You need to make up as many points as possible, so in that sense you need to just send it, but then if you make a mistake that could wreck everything for you. You are kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't.
Yeah. For me at this point there is nothing to lose. I am already second in the championship and I cannot drop anymore back, so there is nothing to lose for me. Twenty-four points, that is a lot, but that is not a lot at the same time because one mistake you can lose many, many points. We will see. I will do my best, not to take any big risks, but I will give my one hundred percent.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer