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Prado and his Three

Spanish rider Jorge Prado of the Red Bull KTM Factory team won his third GP last weekend and it is a very impressive stat.

The MX2 rookie, who is still 16 and won his first Grand Prix in Trentino when he was 16 and 102 days, making him the third youngest GP winner ever (after Ken Roczen 15 and 53 days and Jeffrey Herlings 15 and 225 days). Not bad company, is it?

In that first season in the MX2 class, Herlings would win the Latvia Grand Prix to add to his Valkenswaard (first) victory, but Roczen wouldn’t win again in 2009 after his German (first) success. Mind you, in the MX2 class at the time was Marvin Musquin, and the two teenagers were also pretty fast. It would be far to say the competition in the MX2 class then, is tougher than it is now for Prado. But that is of course just guessing.

Dutchman Dave Strijbos was 16 and 172 days when he won his first one, and Frances Sebastien Tortelli was 16 and 345 days when he won his first. Strijbos, Tortelli, Roczen and Herlings all went on to win multiple world championships, and that gives you a little idea of the company Prado has just joined.

In the 1980’s there was no age rule in the 125cc class, although the 125cc class was really a class for the youngsters, or the odd veteran who couldn’t ride a big bike.

Winning his first Grand Prix when he was only sixteen years old, Strijbos was 18 when he became the youngest 125cc World Champion in 1986! Both records stayed on the FIM books for 25 years until Ken Roczen won his first GP at the age of 15 and then became World Champion when he was only 17 years old.

Since that era, youngsters and the age rule have made the MX2 class a feeder class for the MXGP class, but there are a lot of very talented riders in the class now. Any 16-year-old who can win three Grand Prix’s in his first full season is a special rider. Don’t be surprised if this kid can battle with AMA 250 champion Zach Osborne at the MXoN at Matterley Basin. Nothing to lose, and blistering starts, he isn’t scared that’s for sure.

Watch this space in 2018……..

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