AFTER defending champion Jeffrey Herlings moved to the premier class, Red Bull KTM factory rider Pauls Jonass was the favourtite to win the support category (MX2) and he lived up to his reputation by bagging a double.
The Latvian, who started on pole, also created history by becoming the first Motocross rider from his country to win a Grand Prix and he did it in style too.
The podium had an identical look in both races, with Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s French rider Benoit Paturel finishing second and LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber of Belgium ending up third.
Jonass, 20, one of the youngest starters on the grid, quelled Paturel’s challenge and by the second lap, he put himself firmly in the saddle.
“I didn’t expect to get two wins in Qatar. I think, I still’ve a lot of improvements to make. But I’m happy with the bike and the team has done so much,” said Jonass.
The double win in the opening round gave Jonass the much-needed confidence in his first season and he was quick to admit that.
“It’s a great feeling to start the season in an emphatic manner like this,” an elated Jonass said.
“I just wanted two consistent runs. I’m thankful to the team. I can’t wait for the next Grand Prix to start. We still’ve 19 races to go. It’s a long way off. It’ll be difficult to continue like this, but I’ll do my best,” he added.