Pauls Jonass endured a difficult outing at the Grand Prix of Portugal, but perhaps the fact that he started the season in such an outstanding fashion highlighted that? In the grand scheme of things, ending fifth overall is not the end of the world and a great result on a very off day. Jonass spoke to MX Vice exclusively following Agueda and that discussion can be read below. Alternatively, this was posted as a podcast elsewhere on the website.
MX Vice: Another rough weekend, but maybe they seem so rough because the season started so well? Maybe if you had not started with an unbeaten streak, these would seem kind of normal. Just talk us through it and how it all went from your perspective.
Pauls Jonass: Yeah, actually I am really quite disappointed about the weekend how everything went as the season started perfect and now the last two weekends I have been struggling a little bit. Actually, the first race was not so bad. I just did not get so good start. It was really difficult to pass because they prepped a lot of the track, so everyone was going fast in the first laps. I finished second, which was alright, and I was pretty happy. Not happy, but I was okay with that.
Then the second race I got a good start. I was just behind Jorge [Prado], but then just I do not know what happened. I was riding like a goon. I was just struggling in the corners. Did not have flow, nothing. Everyone passed me. Then I had a small tip-over, because I hit neutral in the ruts, so I crashed and then again guys passed me. First moto was okay, but second moto just everything what could go wrong went wrong I think. I was riding really bad. I am disappointed to let my team and all the people around me down, but we will work hard and we will be back in Russia.
Do you think that maybe because you got a good start in the second race, you kind of were trying to force it a little bit too much? You had Prado right there and you wanted to make up for the first moto, so maybe you were just trying to push a little bit too hard? It was not coming naturally to you, so then the mistakes started happening and it all started to unravel a little bit.
No, actually not. I knew that the race is long and it is going to be not easy race, because of the deep ruts and everything. So I did not even try to push too hard in the first laps, because I knew that Jorge is in front. I wanted to look at some of his lines. He was riding really good. Just straight from the first laps I was struggling. I was just not fast enough in the second moto.
Is this frustrating for you? Are you okay with this? Obviously, you are still the series leader and we should not forget that, because obviously that is the position you want to be in, but finishing off the podium two weeks in a row, is that tough for you to accept?
Yeah, for sure. We work hard; all the team and everyone works so hard. I am disappointed in myself that I do not put the people, my sponsors and everyone on the podium because that is what they work for. Going second and I do not know, which place I finished the second moto, it was not easy. It is a tough pill to swallow, but it just gives me extra motivation. Now we have a little bit more than two weeks until Russia, so we will work hard. Hopefully we will see the old Pauls in Russia.
I guess the most frustrating thing is even last year, when maybe the competition was a little bit higher, you did not have weekends like this. Your worst weekend was a fifth. I know that consistency was important to you again this year, so does that make it even more difficult to take?
Actually I do not think about it. It is still just now straight after the race, but I have not ridden so bad in a second race for a long time now I think. Just making some stupid mistakes. Like you said before, maybe going 1-1-1-1 in the beginning of the season makes it look even worse now. But maybe weekends like this… I need weekends like this just to keep the motivation high, just to keep working and keep improving.
People always are going to talk after a bad weekend like this. Some people are wondering if when you hit the ground with [Henry] Jacobi in Trentino, if you knocked your head a little bit and that brought back some of the issues that you had last year? But that is all good, right? You are at one hundred percent?
Yeah, I am 100%. It is okay. It is all okay. I even did not hit head so hard. I just stretched my neck in the crash, which made my head a little bit dizzy but I am okay. Nothing is wrong. I am healthy. Season is long. We still have many, many GPs to go. It will be alright.
Little break now. Is there anything that you can do to fix this or is it just a case of staying calm, staying relaxed, going to the next race and trying to put all the pieces together?
I am lucky to have good people around me like Willy and Harry, my trainers. They know what we need to do. We can improve. We are going to work hard and we are going to be back in Russia.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer