JONASS JUMPS INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS
At just twenty years of age Pauls Jonass made motorcycling history in 2017, becoming the first Latvian rider to be crowned as an FIM World Champion. In taking the MX2 title at the final round, Jonass also gave Red Bull KTM their sixth Grand Prix ‘double’ since 2010, adding to the achievement of his factory colleague Antonio Cairoli in MXGP. This landmark extended the Austrian factory’s unmatchable record in the category within the modern era by becoming their sixth different champion since 2008.
Jonass was marked for glory from his debut term on the works 250 SX-F in 2015 by making the podium at his first attempt in Qatar and then jostling for the #1 plate with eventual winner Tim Gajser while still a rookie that year. 2016 was beset with some hefty crashes and the concussion he suffered while leading at the Grand Prix of Czech Republic prematurely ended his season but forced a re-think of his strategy and approach to racing.
A more mature, considered and focused Jonass started 2017 with a 1-1 performance in Qatar and set out his stall immediately for overall success. He faced a sustained threat from last year's runner-up Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) but was the most consistent rider from all Grand Prix classes; fifteen podiums meaning that the likeable and joyous youngster could make history in the mud of Villars sous Ecot in the penultimate moto of a long campaign. Pauls will defend his status in 2018 and could be the first rider in all of MXGP to wear a No.1 plate since Marvin Musquin in 2010.
World title – 2017