Red Bull KTM racer to wear number one plate in title defence.
Words: Adam Wheeler
Red Bull KTM’s Pauls Jonass will use the number one plate next year when he bolts the single digit onto his factory 250 SX-F for 2018, defending the MX2 World Championship he won this season.
The 20-year-old Latvian will alter his career number of 41 in recognition of his first MX2 title and for his country come the start of the 20-round campaign in Argentina next March.
“It looks like it I’ll go for it,” he admitted. “I’ve thought a lot about it and also how I could even work the 41 into the one. I think it is an opportunity that doesn’t come along that often in your life, so why not?”
Jonass will also be the first MX2 champion to defend his title since Jordi Tixier in 2015 after the departures of both Tim Gajser and Jeffrey Herlings in the last two years.
Jonass will not face 2017 title threats Jeremy Seewer and Benoit Paturel with both rivals having aged-out of MX2 but – outside of Red Bull KTM teammate Jorge Prado – is already aware of his most potent opposition and named Australian sensation Hunter Lawrence as a primary threat next season.
“I was at the Nations and watched Hunter Lawrence and he rode really well, so I think he’ll also be good next year,” he said of the Australian who posted two podium finishes from the last three rounds of MX2 and will be armed with Honda support in 2018.
“Then you also have to count the Husky guys with [Thomas] Covington and [Thomas Kjer] Olsen – it’s gonna be a good season and it will depend on who puts in the work in the winter. People said that Seewer will be going and the class won’t be as strong, but there is always some new guy that comes up.”