Motocross

Pauls Jonass Not Worried With Championship Challenge

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MX2 Championship leader Pauls Jonass had his lead cut to 9 points at the MXGP of Lombardia, despite finishing on the podium. Photo: Ray Archer
FIM Motocross MX2 Championship Leader Pauls Jonass has endured another hard weekend at the MXGP of Lombardia in Italy that saw the defending champion lose another nine points of his MX2 Championship lead.

After starting the season firing with a string of three perfect rounds, the Red Bull Factory KTM rider has seen team-mate and younger challenger, Jorge Prado, slowly gnawing away at his lead. The two have never been more than a couple of placings apart for most of the season, sharing the podium on all but a few occasions. A bad opening round for Prado did give Jonass the early season momentum though.
Jonass has admitted that he is not at 100% at the moment but not worried about the championship gap narrowing. Photo: Ray Archer
With Prado clawing back another seven points with a win at the MXGP of Lombardia last weekend the Latvian has now had his championship lead cut to just nine points. Thomas Kjer Olsen is in third, over 100 points adrift of Prado.

The MXGP of Lombardia was another physically hard event for the defending champion despite going 3-3 and adding his eighth podium trophy to a large cabinet.
Defending MX2 Champion Pauls Jonass at the MXGP of Lombardia. Photo: Ray Archer
‰ÛÏNothing really went as went as I wanted today," the 21-year-old lamented. "I didn't get the best starts in both motos. In the first race, my left hand became numb after the first fifteen minutes, and I don't know why. I was struggling with the braking bumps and just managed to hold on. In the second moto, I was ready to attack in the last minutes but a blister burst open, and it was so painful going through the waves. Anyway, overall, I just didn't ride my best this weekend, and the speed wasn't there.

Despite the challenge, Jonass is not worried about his championship lead at the half-way point of the season.

"We‰Ûªve struggled for the last few weeks so now I‰Ûªm looking forward to getting back on top of the podium in Indonesia," Jonass added. "I‰Ûªm not worried about the championship because I‰Ûªm not at 100% at the moment and I know we‰Ûªll work on getting that gap bigger in the next few races," he concluded.
Jonass' biggest challenger is his 16-year-old Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team-mate Jorge Prado. Credit: Ray Archer
For Jorge Prado it went well in Italy with the 16-year-old taking his fifth round win of the season.

‰ÛÏIt was an incredible weekend. I cannot say it was unexpected because I have worked so hard and waited a whole year to come back here and prove people wrong," Prado said. "At the end of the second moto I was so happy because it was so, so tough. It was very physically demanding, so to win a race like this makes me happy. It gives me the motivation to keep training. This is almost the hardest conditions we can have and if we can survive this then other races will be easier.‰Û
Jorge Prado took his 5th win of the season at the MXGP of Lombardia to move closer to his team-mate and championship leader Pauls Jonass. Credit: Ray Archer
MX2 Overall Top Ten - MXGP of Lombardia:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 points
2. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 43 Points
3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 40 Points
4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 38 Points
5. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 34 Points
6. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 29 Points
7. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, HON), 27 Points
8. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), 24 Points
9. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, YAM), 21 Points
10. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, HUS), 20 Points

MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 474 points
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 465 Points
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 366 Points
4. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 339 Points
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, HON), 286 Points
6. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 254 Points
7. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 246 Points
8. Jed Beaton (AUS, KAW), 216 Points
9. Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 206 Points
10. Henry Jacobi (GER, HUS), 200 Points

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