Red Bull KTM’s reigning MX2 world champion Pauls Jonass kicked off his title defence in fine style with a crushing six-second win in the qualifying race at Neuquen.
“In the pre-season races I made stupid mistakes,” said the Latvian, “but I didn’t lose any confidence because of that because I knew my riding was good and physically I felt really good.
“When you are on the bike you don’t see the #1 but in the pictures it looks nice. Getting the holeshot gives you extra confidence – you know that the bike is good and that you can get a really good start and it makes the racing much easier.
“When you are at the front of the pack it’s much easier to stay at the front than when you are in the top 20 and have to battle to the front.”
Obviously at home on the dramatic circuit, the 21-year-old is an open fan of the venue that’s been on the GP calendar since 2015.
“Every year I think the track gets more hard-pack so it gets more square-edged bumps and also the take-off of some jumps get more gnarly bumps but overall they make the track every year a little bit faster – they take out some small jumps. Still, I really enjoy riding here.
“It’s really amazing – I really love it here. It’s a long trip but it’s really worth it. When I come to Argentina I don’t hesitate to go on a plane for 24 hours because it’s always so nice here.”