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Arnaud Tonus, yamaha, 2019, mxgp, motocross, Portugal, agueda

Redemption for Tonus & Duncan at Portuguese MXGP

May 202019

Two years, twenty-four months…and in that time countless hours of pain and frustration; of dismay and confidence-bashing doubt. It has been a long road for Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha’s Arnaud Tonus since he last stood on the MXGP podium. The Swiss bathed in the exultation of a moto victory at his home Grand Prix in the summer of 2017 shortly after he first trod the rostrum of the premier class in Italy.

Since then rib and shoulder injuries cast the 27 year old in the realms of ‘the forgotten men’. But Wilvo Yamaha stood by their racer, and after a clear and prosperous winter of training Tonus is on the comeback to revive the notion that he is one of the most stylish and technical athletes in the MXGP gate.

The emotion of vindication was evident last weekend in Portugal. MXGP gathered for round six of the campaign and although Tonus had signalled his intent with 4th overall two races previously in Italy he stomped back to prominence with a 3-3 scorecard in the sunny motos at a fast and flowing Agueda circuit.

“This feels amazing; it is hard to find the right words at the moment,” the friendly and popular rider said after his 3rd position. “I have been through a lot and it is cool to be up here. I just want to thank Louis [Vosters, Team Principal] and all the people at Yamaha who stuck with me through the hardest time of my career. Being back up here is so cool and I am so thankful and happy. I really had to fight for it.”


In defiance of the poor luck with injury and illness that have scuppered his first years in the premier class of the FIM World Championship and even plagued his short tenure in the USA with the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, Tonus has been attacking the MXGP class this year in an effort to ‘catch up’. “I hadn’t raced for a year so it took me time to set up myself for racing,” he admitted. “I had a good winter and everything went well but in the races I made some mistakes and was struggling a bit to pass and be aggressive. I think I really improved on that today.”

MXGP is ploughing a fast and relentless course: the third outing in as many weeks ventures to one of the most atmospheric racing venues on the calendar with St Jean D’Angely near the west coast entertaining the Grand Prix of France.