Switzerland’s top motocrosser, Arnaud Tonus, is one of the most sought-after riders for the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship and the 23-year-old will make his decision on several factory offers as well as two options to decamp to the USA to race in America by the time of the Grand Prix of Italy in two weeks time.
The CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki rider is currently second in the MX2 standings and secured his sixth podium of the season by finishing as runner-up in France last weekend. Tonus is courting advances from a number of teams for his MXGP debut term in 2015 with Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Husqvarna among those interested for Grand Prix and slots with Troy Lee Designs Honda and Pro Circuit Kawasaki on the table for an AMA switch.
“I haven’t made a decision yet so I cannot really talk about it,” the rider admitted in a press conference on Sunday. “I think I will have some news in Maggiora.”
Afterwards we pushed Arnaud for some more thoughts on his future: “I’ve had a lot of time to think, maybe too much, but it comes to the point where the decision has to come from the heart and not the mind. There are some parts about going to the U.S. that would be tougher, like the change of lifestyle…it is a tough choice because I’m not someone who decides on impulse. For sure I have been thinking about the U.S. but the reality is not often like the dream.”
The alleged link with Californian tuning giants Pro Circuit was not denied by Tonus and could be the most attractive considering the progress and success enjoyed by the likes of Ben Townley, Tyla Rattray and Christophe Pourcel after their transfer from MXGP. “I know it is an opportunity but the offers are a bit different there [in the USA], you know how the economy is in the U.S.,” he said. “Wherever I go – like I said – will be a decision about what is best and from the heart, not based on money. Anyway, it has to happen pretty soon.”
The MXGP paddock is waiting for the likes of Tonus and Jeffrey Herlings (for the Dutchman it is a case of which category for 2015) to elect a career path for the subsequent order of available saddles and budget to be confirmed for the other riders out of contract, and teams that will have a good degree of choice. If Tonus is tempted by the U.S. then it means getting immediately up to speed with supercross. “I know,” he concedes. “It is one more thing to think about. It is a challenge but I like supercross…even if it will be a lot different over there and I have no experience.”