Arnaud Tonus interview
Posted on February 14, 2018
Switzerland’s Arnaud Tonus hasn’t had the winter he would have liked, with a concussion in November causing him some issues and time on the couch. The rider from the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team is now back to 100% and ready to continue his quest for GP podiums and wins.
Working with Shaun Simpson and Jeremy Seewer has been enjoyable for Tonus, and he knows the experience between the three riders will make it the perfect preparation for another tough season in the MXGP class.
We caught up to him this morning as he prepared for some training in Sardinia, before he heads to France for the French International race this coming weekend.
MXlarge: Firstly, how was your winter?
Tonus: Well, pretty rough. I had a concussion before the Genève supercross and I had to take some time off. I had a few crashes last year, so this one I took a month, or a month and a half off, so December there wasn’t much riding. I really started my training in January, and we first to Belgium, then we went to Sardinia, and riding with Shaun and Jeremy and trying to push each other. I think it worked out pretty well. I had a shoulder injury, so I missed the Italian race, but now I am back into it and feeling ok. I am just looking forward to the season. I am mentally focused and feeling free.
MXlarge: Speaking about Jeremy, its funny, because you, Shaun and Jeremy are very similar characters, all very relaxed, pretty serious and good guys. That has to be nice with three of you all so similar?
Tonus: I think it fits pretty well, like you said. Its never easy in a team to have three riders who have the personalities to accept sharing information, and ride together in practice. There is often ego involved. I think the personalities work well, and I know Louis (Vosters – Team manager) was pretty happy about that. His choice on the rider isn’t just on having a fast guy, but also a guy who will bring personality to the team, and I think it’s worked out well.
MXlarge: I remember speaking to Shaun about you guys doing all the rounds of the Italian championship, but I noticed you guys didn’t do round two. Why did that change?
Tonus: I am not sure if I am allowed to speak about it, but there were some problems in the opening round. They had a penalty in the first one, because they had some issues with the bike and couldn’t make it on time to the race. They still went for it, Shaun and Jeremy and they got the black flag, so after that they were not allowed to the other rounds of the Italian championship.
MXlarge: You mentioned about your concussion. That is something that needs to be taken really seriously, it can end your career or give serious damage. How hard is it to get that off your mind?
Tonus: I was not so worried about having a concussion, it was some physical problems I had, like pain in my neck, headaches and stuff like that holding me back. I wasn’t afraid of crashing on my head again, it’s a tough sport and anything can happen at any moment and you have to accept that and deal with it. Concussions in a row wasn’t good for me and the headaches told me I needed to take some time off and recover from it. After that I have been training on vision training and brain training and also eating even better than I was before. Working on those things to make it better to improve on the brain side.
MXLarge: From memory last year, you guys started a bit late, with the team being new and everything. How is it this year?
Tonus: It completely different this year, we already started with new bike mid-season. We improved the bike and made some good times at the races and it was a plus. The team is more experienced, and everyone is more organized, like the mechanics and everyone.
MXlarge: Going into Argentina, it’s a great experience for everyone, and of course you guys go there to race, but I also remember you like the culture side of the trips. How do you look at this first round of the championship?
Tonus: I am really looking forward to it, also the human experience. The land and the trip, it was special for me, so it’s a plus. Mentally we have two days we have to be sharp in mind, but we have Thursday and Friday we can enjoy the country. Its also a pretty cool track, and you can do nice whips there and its nice to get rid of some of the pressure and enjoying what you do.