2015 MX2 world championship runner-up Pauls Jonass is finally reaching the level of performance and potential that marked the young Latvian as one of the best talents in Grand Prix.
The Red Bull KTM rider picked up his fourth podium of the season last weekend at the Grand Prix of Spain and is entering a phase of the campaign where his fitness and form are starting to chime on the 250SX-F.
The 19-year-old suffered at the start of the year with a pre-season thumb injury that wrecked his programme through international races and also final tests with the factory crew. “It [the injury set-back] showed after a few races,” he said in Spain. “My speed was there but my fitness on the bike wasn’t. I was getting better but then also struggling at some races. Slowly I am improving and we are only half way through.”
While team-mate Jeffrey Herlings decimates MX2 for the fourth year in a row Jonass has had to focus on gaining points to close up to Suzuki’s Jeremy Seewer in second place and is now just 25 points away from the impressive Swiss who is being courted by a number of factory teams for 2017. Seewer’s deal with Suzuki – a team and brand with whom he has enjoyed a long association – is due to end this year and #91 still has two more seasons left in the MX2 class before reaching the 23 year age ceiling.
The pair are expected to be among the favourites for next year when the category could be blown wide open if Herlings departs along with the forced exits for Dylan Ferrandis, Max Anstie and Alex Tonkov.