News 31 Jan 2019

Premier class debut still not certain for Jonass at MXGP opener

Latvian world champion continues recovery from ACL surgery.

Image: Supplied.

Words: Adam Wheeler

Former MX2 world champion Pauls Jonass will have to wait in anticipation of his MXGP debut this year as he negotiates the rehabilitation process of an ACL surgery to his right knee, performed last September.

The 22-year-old Latvian forms part of an all-new and young line-up for the factory Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team alongside Arminas Jasikonis, but has yet to ride his new FC450.

“Things have actually been quite complicated since the surgery and I didn’t expect that it would take so long and would be so difficult, but we are on the right way and I feel much better,” Jonass explained.

“ACL surgery means you need time to get strength and stability back in the knee and it’s a hard process. At the last check-up with the doctor and physio they were really satisfied with how it’s going. In terms of strength I’m doing well – I just need to work on co-ordination and stability and a have a little bit more time for the ligament.”

Jonass is hoping to steer the number 41 Husqvarna some time in February, which leaves little time for serious preparation ahead of the opening grand prix at Neuquen in Argentina on 3 March. It is unknown whether Latvia’s sole motocross world champion will make the South American date or might have to consider round two in Great Britain or the next event in The Netherlands.

“It was a serious injury so if I start riding too soon and twist it then I’ll damage it again,” he explained of the ailment that caused him to relinquish his MX2 crown ahead of the final date at Imola last September. “I don’t want to rush it. Since the start of the year I have been going flat-out with my physical training.

“I can cycle and I have been focussing on my physical condition. I really hope in February I can start riding and then we go step-by-step. Hopefully I can be at the races as soon as possible. I don’t want to have any expectations at the moment because if it [a slated return] doesn’t happen for some reason then I’ll be really disappointed. I’m going week-by-week and hopefully in a month I’ll be back on the bike.”