Pauls Jonass has had a rough couple of months, with very little success. Jonass returned to the head of the field on Sunday though and did not lose anymore points to Jorge Prado. Although that is not exactly the goal, it was a step in the right direction. Jonass discusses the rough ride that he has had in this exclusive MX Vice interview from the Grand Prix of Switzerland.
MX Vice: Solid day. You did not win the overall, but you are definitely back on the right track after a couple of rough weeks, so I guess you are pretty happy.
Pauls Jonass: Yeah, for sure. After Lommel I was for sure really disappointed, then we have been putting quite some hard work into it. I was feeling good coming into this weekend. These kinds of tracks are not my favourite. In the first race I managed to win, I passed Jorge [Prado] when he made a small mistake, and then in the second race, in the first minutes he pulled a pretty big gap. I tried to close it. I was just there, but like two laps to go I made a little freestyle show for the fans and a little nac-nac in the corner. I lost a lot of time.
That was the key for the race. I wanted to make an attack in the last laps, but like I said made a small mistake that cost me a lot. To go 1-2 after the last couple of weeks is pretty good. It is nice to be back on the podium, but for sure we wanted to go 1-1. We still have four races to go and I will do my best to be back on the top of the podium.
Obviously, that mistake in the second moto kind of stopped you from making a real charge at Jorge. Had that not happened, do you believe that you could have won that one? You were definitely getting close.
Yeah, I was getting close. In the first laps he pulled a big gap, like I said, but I thought he would get a little dip and I’d close the gap pretty quick. Then a few small mistakes came from my side, which cost a lot. Every small mistake is like half of one second and at this track to gain one second is quite hard. Still I tried, but this time Jorge was also strong in the second race. We will not give up. There are still four GPs left and everything can happen, so we have still got to battle for that.
The last few weeks everyone has been asking, “What is wrong with Pauls? Something must be up?” To an extent though, I feel like this has just been bad luck. The crash in Lommel was kind of your fault, but not completely. Semarang, the crash in the first corner. That could have been a 1-1 day. I do not feel like you can take all the blame, but also there must be some of it on you.
Yeah, for sure. I said already on my social media that the last couple of weeks at the GPs, I felt good and just had really bad luck. Sometimes I couldn’t affect it. In Lommel in the second start [Brent] Van Doninck jumped the gate next to me and I got completely out of balance, then the crash in the first moto and also like you said in Semarang in the first corner the crash there. It has been really bad luck. For sure, the bad luck comes because of something. We were putting quite some work into that so that the bad luck does not happen anymore. Hopefully for the rest of the season, the luck will be on my side.
There has been a lot of talk and one thing I have noticed a lot of people say is that once you make a mistake or tip over, it takes you a little while to get back going again. Do you feel like that is the case? Does it take you a bit of time to get back into your rhythm after a mistake like you had today?
Yeah, maybe yes. Like today I had the mistake. I tried one straight to breathe to get back in the rhythm and then attack again. It did not work this time. Maybe for me it is something to work on, after the mistakes that I can be back in the rhythm earlier and faster. Need to keep working.
This is good though, isn’t it? The negatives are in the rear-view mirror now. You are back on the right track. There are four races to go. There is a bit of a gap, but are you worried?
No, I am not worried. I just want to do my best for the rest of the season. Still eight motos, which is a lot, and everything can happen. Of course, I can lose many points. Jorge can lose some points. That is motocross. That is racing. I will do my best to win this title, to close the gap. It is still twenty-eight points. It is not too much. It is a lot, but it is not too much. We are still going to fight for that. That I can promise.
We know you are going to the 450F next year in one form or another. Is that added pressure? Obviously, this is your last chance to become a two-time world champion in MX2. Does that play on your mind at all?
No, for sure not. It’s for myself. I want to prove that I am the best MX2 guy at the moment. That is not extra pressure, but that I want to go to the big bikes as a champion.
Is there anything you are going to change in the coming weeks? I know Jorge feels like you are stronger on hard pack, so Bulgaria and Turkey should be right up your street.
Now, when there are GPs back-to-back, in the week there is not so much time to spend on the bike. Maximum we can go two times. In those two trainings you cannot learn a lot. For sure, you can gain a bit, but it is not like you are going to be three or four seconds faster a lap. We work a little bit of hard-pack now and ride some hard-pack tracks. Just relax and be ready for the next GPs.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer