Arnaud Tonus, a Grand Prix veteran and former Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawaski rider in the U.S., has found a new ride for the 2021 MXGP season. There will be a significant Swiss tie for the Swiss native, as this team pulls from some strong home-nation brands to build a team around Tonus and fellow Swiss veteran Valentin Guillod.
After a tough season with injuries in MXGP, Tonus is back to proving he once-again belongs at the top level.
"I would never say it is easy, I struggle like everybody would. It’s been the story of my career pretty much: rebounding from tough times and this-and-that," he said in an interview with our Adam Wheeler in November. "I think there are small moments along the way that encourage you or remind you that you have the potential, like having a good feeling on the bike. Those push you forward. Like anything in life, it is also about the way you look at things. If you can see the positives then it helps to continue forward. I struggled hard though. Most of the time I was in a tough situation mentally. In a way, it also made me discover another aspect of our sport which is the mental side. I discovered more about myself and went deeper and deeper. I’m really passionate about meditation and exploring the inner aspect of ourselves. There is a lot of joy inside. Our nature, as humans, is to be pretty joyful, so if you can cut through to this aspect then it becomes easier. Hard situations can then be handled like you’re a kid—like it’s a game—because everything is lighter in general."
Now Tonus has a new shot with a new team, but remaining on a Yamaha, the brand he has ridden for the last few seasons. The new team's PR is below:
hostettler Yamaha Racing announces 2021 MXGP Roster
hostettler Yamaha Racing is a newly formed team entering the FIM Motocross World Championship. It is supported by powerful partners and features excellent competitors for the world championship and the Swiss championship.
The hostettler group is one of the leading economic drivers in Central Switzerland and continues to expand its commitment to the MXGP with hostettler Yamaha Racing. The Swiss motorcycle brand iXS and the venerable watchmaking company Tissot are two other strong partners supporting the project. The operational side of the business is handled by Riding Factory GmbH with team owner Jef Janssen. The Dutch national is considered a top training authority. He is a former world championship rider and has been known in the paddock for years. All those involved are proud of the collaboration and have been hard at work for weeks for the new team.
Arnaud Tonus' hostettler Yamaha Racing 2021 Yamaha YZ450F. hostettler Yamaha Racing Arnaud Tonus' hostettler Yamaha Racing 2021 Yamaha YZ450F. hostettler Yamaha Racing Arnaud Tonus' hostettler Yamaha Racing 2021 Yamaha YZ450F. hostettler Yamaha Racing Arnaud Tonus' hostettler Yamaha Racing 2021 Yamaha YZ450F. hostettler Yamaha Racing
As a Swiss company, the support of the home-based riders is important to the hostettler group and therefore three out of the four racers are from Switzerland. We are pleased to have enlisted in the MXGP class two world-class competitors, Arnaud Tonus and Valentin Guillod. Both have previously shown their potential and won various GP podium positions. While Tonus is clearly focusing on the world championship, Valentin Guillod’s sights are primarily set on the Swiss championship, in addition to the world championship events.
Petr Polak and Joel Elsener will ride the Yamaha YZ250F. Petr Polak, a Czech national, is starting his third year of GP racing and intends to continue establishing himself. The young Swiss rider Joel Elsener will compete in the EMX250 class. All four will also participate in the Swiss championship and in selected races.
Jef Janssen, team owner & manager
“We have a big job ahead of us, but we are excited about it. We have an excellent and highly motivated crew. With the hostettler group and Yamaha, we have the support of two of the most powerful partners that you could hope to have. We will start with the training shortly and I look forward to optimally prepare the team for the new season.”
“I’m really motivated and happy to stay with Yamaha. I have been on that bike for years now and it’s great to continue with them. Having the support from hostettler is very helpful and I’m thankful for that. It’s actually a challenge for a new team to put it all together, but we have a really good group of people and that makes the team perform well. We have a bit of time now before the season starts, let’s have a good preparation and a great season.”