In an interesting move, a seat vacated by Brit Max Anstie 2017 MX2 World Champion and former Red Bull KTM MX2 pilot Pauls Jonass is set to debut in the MXGP class aboard the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna.
It was known earlier in the year that the Red Bull KTM tent would look different in 2019 and that Dutchman Glenn Coldenhoff will move from Red Bull KTM to a satellite team to make way for Pauls Jonass who was stepping into the MXGP class for 2019.
In theory, that means that MXGP champion Jeffery Herlings will have a new MX2 or MXGP teammate (a little out of touch with the info) as Coldenhoff was set to step aside for Pauls to advance to the bigger class (or will Coldenhoff stay?) while Tony Cairoli and Jorge Pardo will share a pit tent.
MXGP PRESS RELEASE
Husqvarna Motorcycles are pleased to welcome Pauls Jonass to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP team, where the 21-year-old Latvian will compete on Husqvarna’s FC 450 machine throughout the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Crowned MX2 World Champion in 2017, Pauls Jonass has been one of the most successful 250cc class riders in recent history. With the 2017 season being the highlight of his career to date, that season Pauls reached the podium in 15 out of the 19 rounds. Involved in a thrilling battle to defend his title throughout 2018, Pauls ended his campaign as the 2018 FIM MX2 World Championship runner-up.
Despite his young age, Pauls Jonass already has more than a decade of motocross racing experience under his belt. Gradually advancing through the ranks of the junior categories, Pauls was crowned the 2011 85cc Junior World Champion, winning the 125cc Junior Motocross World Championship two years later.
At just 21 years of age, Jonass is one of the most promising young riders of his era. Known for his strong work ethic and determination to succeed, the rider from Aizpute, Latvia is a perfect fit for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team.
With Pauls Jonass joining the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP squad with immediate effect, further details on the team’s complete line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.
Pauls Jonass – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing: “I’m really excited to be part of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team. The switch to the MXGP category is a big move for me but I can’t wait to get started. Joining such an acclaimed team gives me a huge amount of motivation to continue working hard in order to achieve my goals. I’m looking ahead to a great future with the team. I’ve known Antti Pyrhönen and the rest of the team members for some years already and it feels good to start working with them. Following my knee surgery last month, my goal right now is to start riding my Husqvarna at the earliest possible time. I want to maximise my time on the bike, so I can be fully-fit and ready to enter this exciting new season in the MXGP category.”
Diego Clement – Head of Motorsport at Husqvarna Motorcycles: “We are extremely happy to have former MX2 World Champion Pauls Jonass join our team. We truly believe Pauls has the potential to become a frontrunner in the extremely competitive MXGP category. Pauls is one of the most experienced motocross racers of his generation and already a three-time World Champion. His speed is never in doubt, and he has impressed us, as he has the wider motocross community, with his ability to perform on varying track conditions. It’s going to be an exciting new season and we are all looking forward to seeing Pauls do battle against the MXGP class elite aboard our FC 450 machine.”
Kimi Räikkönen – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing (IceOne) team owner: “With Pauls joining our team the goal is to continue our success. The Motocross World Championship is the most competitive global motocross series and we’re pleased to be strengthening our team with a former World Champion. I am confident all members of our team will give their best to help Pauls achieve his goals in the MXGP class.”
Antti Pyrhönen – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP team manager: “We are all looking forward to working with Pauls Jonass as he starts an exciting new chapter in his professional motocross career. Everyone knows Pauls is an extremely hard working rider, which we know will help him fit in perfectly with our team. Already being a world champion speaks volumes about his capabilities. He is both physically and mentally strong and has demonstrated time and again that he is able to excel even under the toughest conditions. We all can’t wait to start working with this young and extremely talented rider.”