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Jorge Prado interview - Momentum

Jorge Prado interview - Momentum

Jul 1

  • Interview

Red Bull GasGas factory rider Jorge Prado just gets it done, even when at times it seems unlikely. Despite one of his rivals, Jeffrey Herlings going 1-1 in the Saturday qualifier and opening race on Sunday, and the Dutchman leading the second race on Sunday, Prado came through, stayed calm and grabbed the Grand Prix victory from the jaws of defeat.

It is something Prado had done a couple of times this year and for me, it is these wins that are impressive, because they come with real resistance. A resistance from Herlings and also from another five-time World champion, Tim Gajser, but still, the defending MXGP champion comes through and shines once again. Gains major points, scored yet another GP victory and comes out smelling like roses.

His win in the opening Lombok GP made sure he not only won his 45th GP of his career and seventh in 2024, but it also saw him gain valuable points on series leader Gajser. With the series half over, and the second half seeing a variety of different circuits, the win in Lombok was the perfect way to start what will be a very exciting and dramatic finale to the 2024 MXGP championship. We caught up with the champion and below is what he told us.

MXLarge: First of all, you seem really happy. How do you feel with this win?

Prado: You know, after Italy, it is amazing to get another victory, it is already the seventh from the season. Moto two in Maggiora I couldn’t do anything. A rider crashed in front of me, and I just went over the bars. I hit myself pretty hard and it was just a pity. I lost 25 points, but no problem, we came back strong. It was very physical today and the track was very rough. Conditions didn’t make it easier, also the weather, everything was just heavy. Happy with the victory. Second moto I had a good jump and Jeffrey got my from the inside and I thought their was no space, but he found it, second corner, before the waves I tried to change the line and I hit some mud and went off the track and Tim passed me there. The track was, I need to say, quite bad and I think nobody enjoyed riding this kind of track. We have time to prep and make for nicer racing, but it is what it is, and I am happy with the victory. Hopefully the next round we have some nicer dirt.

MXLarge: You look like you could push when you had to, and you were riding really well.

Prado: Yes, I was riding really well. I felt better already in the warm-up this morning. First moto I was behind Jeffrey all the time and we were pushing really hard and getting away from everyone, then at one point at the end of the moto, I got a little closer, but just couldn’t get enough. I just said, okay, its enough for this one. Second moto I think my riding was even better. The track was super slippery, and I also made some mistakes, but I managed to stay on the bike the whole time and have a consistent rhythm and happy with my fitness right until the end. I managed to get out of here with the victory and even closer to the championship points lead.

MXLarge: I can imagine the points are more important than the actual GP win?

Prado: Yes, exactly, but everything matters, also the GP win. Gaining another GP victory makes me very happy, and it is needed for the confidence to prove the hard work, so a little bit of both. We made good ground on Tim, especially in that second moto. Super happy about the weekend.

MXlarge: Both those guys in front of you crashed, you stayed calm and got the win, I wouldn’t say you were lucky, because not crashing takes some talent on a track that was as wet as that was, but how did you see it?

Prado: Lucky for sure not. I also went off track, when I was charging trying to get Jeffrey in the first lap, because of the mud. He made a mistake in the mud, and I didn’t. Tim, what happened with Tim, I just passed him. So, what you are saying is wrong (Jorge thought I meant he was lucky. I didn’t mean that at all). I was the best today and that is why I won. We are getting close to the championship lead, and I won.

MXlarge: The speed of you three is a lot closer now, whereas in those first four rounds, you were just much quicker than Tim and Jeffrey. Is that more fun when the speed is closer, because all three of you are great riders and to battle riders like that must be nice?

Prado: I mean, its close when we have mud races. I mean, it’s a mud race because these guys put so much water on the track and then it gets closer. I feel in dry conditions, there is still some gap. Look for example myself in Lugo, with dry conditions, in the qualification race, from P6 or something, I went and won the moto. Passing all these guys in front in the championship and the ones in the back, so, no. For sure there isn’t a big gap, Tim, Jeffrey and I are pretty similar. One guy is riding better in mud conditions another guy is riding better in dry and rutty another guy might be better when its more slippery and that makes it fun for the spectators.

MXLarge: We are here for a week now, are you going to enjoy yourself, or is it just work, work, work?

Prado: The day has 24 hours; I think we can do a little bit of both. With this nice weather, I think we can enjoy, but we keep putting the work in and get fit for the next one. I am not sure where we are going, but another part of the island, which is good for training and I have some Spanish friends here, so will spend some time with them.

JP/GasGas images

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