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MXGP World Championship

Discussion: Pauls Jonass

Reaction to the new contract that Pauls Jonass has.

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What ended up being one of the worst-kept secrets in the Grand Prix series, the fact that Pauls Jonass was moving over to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, has finally been made official by those in charge. Although it has been common knowledge for two months now, it is still a little odd to see the former world champion draped over a white machine.

What is it a wise choice to move across? It is important to first confirm that it was actually his choice, rather than the powers that be telling him to alter his programme in an effort to boost the Husqvarna programme. This effectively went down like any other transfer in the paddock, but it is still interesting to assess. This is the first time since the rebirth of Husqvarna that a rider has made a switch straight from KTM to one of the Husqvarna Factory Racing teams. Most presumed that this would become common practice when the new brand strategy was unveiled five years ago. Who could forget those misguided rumours that even Jeffrey Herlings would be making the transition a couple of years ago?

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Pauls Jonass will lead Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing into action.

Husqvarna/Bavo Swijgers

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, it is surprising that Jonass opted to make the move and stray from those who moulded him into the champion that he eventually became. The fact that he did not want to be a third wheel makes perfect sense though. Jorge Prado moved across to the Claudio De Carli portion of the Red Bull KTM tent to avoid being looked at as the second guy on the squad. It is natural for one to try to escape that feeling, even though these are professional teams and would not exactly have favourites. If it ensures that he feels comfortable heading into his maiden season in the premier class, knowing that a factory team is effectively based around him, then only good things can come of this.

The unfortunate thing here is that Jonass will be compared against both Max Anstie and Gautier Paulin, as he is effectively replacing them on the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing squad. Jonass could actually reach a similar level to those guys, which would be battling on the verge of the top five consistently, but it may be a sticky start. The ACL surgery that he had a month ago will stop him from testing his FC 450 until the end of January, which is going to give him five weeks to prepare for the first round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. It is obviously quite unrealistic to expect him to hit his peak in that short time frame, especially with the various changes that he has to overcome and fine-tune.

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Pauls Jonass is a former EMX125 (2013) and MX2 (2017) champion.

Husqvarna/Bavo Swijgers

Think back to the way that Thomas Covington performed at the first round earlier this year. Covington had ACL surgery at the end of the previous season and started riding in early January, then limped through the first round and finished fifteenth overall. Once Pauls Jonass has straightened everything out though, he should be able to contend for a spot on the box at points. Jeremy Seewer ended between sixth and eighth more often than not and one could argue that Jonass will fare better than him, if not match the results that he recorded in his rookie term. Pundits underrate him and therefore it is likely that he is going to surprise anyway.

The Grand Prix term that has just ended may actually be the reason for that. Romain Febvre, Tim Gajser and Jeffrey Herlings ensured that graduates were held to a high standard for a couple of years and that talk has died down over the last twelve months. There was a not a standout talent this season, obviously, hence why that has happened. Perhaps it is time for another surprise?

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Husqvarna Motorcycles/Bavo Swijgers

MXGP World Championship

HRC Video: Meeting Ferruccio Zanchi

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Ferruccio Zanchi is the new face in Team HRC, with the Italian youngster leading the renewed CRF250R programme for 2024. Watch on, to get to know a bit more about this new MX2 rider.

Lead Image: HRC

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MXGP World Championship

Hawkstone International in the books for Gabriel SS24 KTM

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In the MX2 class Cas qualified 3rd and had a good feeling on the sandy circuit. In moto 1 he had a good start but struggled to pass on the one lined track and by the time he got to third position the leaders had pulled away. Shortly into moto 2 there was a red flag with a full restart. Cas again restarted in second behind current MX2 world champion Adrea Adamo to where he would finish the 25 minute + 1 lap race. As well as securing 2nd on the podium these results qualified Cas to line up for the superfinal. The MX2 riders were let off the gate first shortly followed by the MX1 riders. Cas started in second and throughout the moto was picked off gradually by the faster 450 machines. He finished a very respectable 12th in the combined results, and the second MX2 machine. Up next for Cas is Lierop International this Sunday 3rd March.


Words: Press Release | Lead Image: Gabriel SS224KTM/Ray Archer


Coming into the weekend Josh was carrying a slight lower back issue but was able to compete and got stronger as the day went on. He qualified 17th which he was not happy with but didn’t let it affect him ahead of the races. In moto 1 he had an unusually bad start but got up to 11th place just behind Adam Sterry and despite getting close was not able to make the pass. In moto 2 he had another good jump but had more bad luck when he got caught up with another rider and had a first turn crash. Coming from dead last he came through the pack to finish 10th. Heading into the superfinal Josh rode his best all day and finished the superfinal 7th in the combined results, 6th MX1 machine and top British rider for which he received the Vaughan Semmens Memorial Trophy for. This was Josh’s last preseason race to get the final touches sorted before his season officially starts in Argentina for the MXGP series on the 9th/10th March.

Team Manager Shaun Simpson, said: “Hawkstone is always a great pre-season race and this year certainly didn’t disappoint! Probably one of the biggest crowds I’ve seen at Hawkstone in the last 20 years. It’s a great test for the riders and was nice for us to showcase our new paddock setup for our British fans and sponsors. Both Josh and Cas steadily got better as the day went on, the mechanics done a fantastic job with the tight schedule and it was nice for Cas to get his first podium of the season. We are gathering some momentum now and are looking forward to Lierop this weekend for Cas and Argentina in two weeks to start the MXGP championship with Josh.”

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European Motocross

Lucas and Sacha Coenen confirmed for Lierop

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This Sunday (March 3) the Dutch motocross season will start at the Herselse Bossen circuit in Lierop. The field of racers is getting stronger and stronger and it promises to be a really high-level race.


Words: Press Release | Lead Image: Husqvarna/Bavo Swijgers


The MX2 class is full of young and motivated riders and Lucas and Sacha Coenen will join them for Lierop. These talented twins regularly impressed in the MX2 World Championship last year and Lucas won his first Grand Prix in Indonesia at the age of sixteen.

A fifth place was his share in the final standings and he certainly wants to improve on that this year. Sacha also regularly showed that he has the speed to compete at the front. Highlights were his second place in the qualifying heat in Finland and top five finishes in the Czech Republic and Sweden.

In the deep sand of Lierop, the Coenen brothers will compete against riders like Kay de Wolf, Cas Valk, Hakon Osterhagen, Max Werner, Scott Smulders, Bradley Mesters, Hakon Fredriksen, Oriol Oliver and others.

Also in the 500 class we get fireworks with the participation of Jeffrey Herlings, Jago Geerts, Pauls Jonass, Calvin Vlaanderen, Brent van Doninck and others.

The weather forecast looks good, so the Dutch MX Season Opener in Lierop has all the ingredients to see a great day of racing.

For more information have a look at www.maclierop.nl

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