Courtesy of Youthstream
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Pauls Jonass and Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Clement Desalle couldn’t be more different. One a fresh young rider, with a handful of years on the world scene, the other a veteran of more than a decade. One with four GP victories, the other 21 GP wins. Yet last weekend at the French circuit of Ernee they both achieved the same result.
With victory Jonass extended his lead in the MX2 championship points, and knows that it’s a long season, and many more of these results will have to come if he wants his first world title.
“You know in Germany,” Jonass said. “Everyone is saying it was a bad race, and I was not happy myself with the race. I was disappointed, but still I only lost five points in the championship and I was on the podium, so it wasn’t so bad. They say you win the championship in your bad days. In Germany, I needed to settle down and it wasn’t the best feeling, but when I tried to push I made mistakes and I settled down.
In France he was rock solid, scoring a moto win, and a top three results to secure the GP win. Despite a massive crowd baying for his blood, the young Latvian remained cool and walked away with celebration.
“You know the first moto I had a good start, pulled a gap in the early laps and just controlled the race. At the end of the moto when Paturel was catching Seewer, it was difficult to stay focused, because I had a big lead, I didn’t need to push so hard, but I could hear the crowd cheering. So, I was looking back to see what was happening, looking behind and wondering what was going on. Benoit rode really well, French crowd, French track and a French rider. It’s always nice to go to France, the atmosphere is so great there. It was also nice to see Paturel win the second moto, I did the same in Latvia and I know how that feels in front of your countrymen. Unfortunately, I also didn’t win the overall in Latvia.”
As for Desalle, his GP win moved him just that little bit closer to red plate owner Antonio Cairoli. The Belgian has finished second behind the Italian enough in world championship battle to know that it’s a long season, and one where he needs to be his old rival more often. In France, it all went to plan.
“I am really happy to win the second moto and overall,” Desalle said. “I was struggling and couldn’t find my lines in the first race. It was tough, finally it is paying off a bit. The work we have done, the training and also the work on the bike. The start was good and it would be great to be on the podium at least once this year. I am really happy, waiting a long time. Two times fourth in the last two races. I am happy with my day there. I was disappointed for the first race, but happy with the second one.
In all fairness, it was his Saturday performance that lined up the perfect Sunday for the multiple GP winner.
“It was a qualification (race), but I wanted to do the same on Sunday. Actually, it gives you a good feeling to have that on Saturday, then you sleep good and are ready for Sunday. I was happy with my settings on Saturday, and I enjoyed riding after getting a good start. A good start is important, then you get in a good rhythm and it is good for a Saturday.”
Now the two will head to Russia this week, and search for that all-important victory once again. For one to move even further from his rivals, for the others to try and close the gap from the points leader. Difference circumstances, but as we saw in Ernée, the same goal at the end of the weekend.
Cop0yright: Photo: Ray Archer