Jorge Prado interview - Red Plate
Posted on March 14, 2023
Red Bull GasGas Factory rider Jorge Prado has always been fast at Patagonia, and this year was no different. Looking comfortable and stylish, the Spanish rider heads to the next round of the series with the red plate and looking at his riding, he could be at the peak of his career, up until this date.
We caught up with the Spaniard and talked about his weekend, the highs and lows and his working relationship with five time World motocross champion Joel Smets.
MXlarge: Congratulations, even though you didn’t win, you lead the points and won two of the three motos this weekend. I remember last year you talked about injuries and stuff, but it seems the confidence is very high this year?
Prado: Yes, I mean, it was a good weekend. Getting out of here with the red plate, my first ever red plate.
MXlarge: It is amazing you have never had the red plate really.
Prado: Yes, and it is so nice. Since 2019 I didn’t have the chance to have it on my bike. I came very close a couple of times, but never got there. It was a good weekend, first moto win on Saturday, first moto win on Sunday and I tried for the final moto win, but I just didn’t feel it. Sometimes it is tough to make it 1-1-1, but I want to do that.
MXlarge: You looked very confident and smooth and a lot of guys crashed this weekend, so that was something. Did you have any moments?
Prado: No, I didn’t have any moments and it is a very sketchy track and in that second moto, I didn’t want to push the envelope and go sideways in the waves or whatever. I tried to stay calm and that makes me go slower of course. I am safe and I didn’t have a single crash, so I am very happy about that.
MXlarge: Not winning the GP, but having the red plate, I guess that feels strange?
Prado: Well, I think to be honest, I have to be happy, winning the moto yesterday and the first one today. The second one wasn’t perfect, but I have the red plate and getting out of here in first place was the main goal. I am very happy with my riding. Obviously I didn’t feel great in that second moto, it can’t be perfect.
MXLarge: You said this year would be your year and on a positive note you have the red plate going into Sardinia.
Prado: I say it is going to be my year every year, so hopefully this one is. We are going to Sardinia, and I am very comfortable in the sand. I had some great battles there in the past, so I look forward to that. Hopefully we can get the points gap bigger.
MXlarge: You have the red plate, but one hand made by your mechanics. Will you have a real one in Sardinia?
Prado: Hopefully they will do one. They didn’t have the red plate, because they didn’t believe I could do it. This new rule of points in the qualification race is very special, because it means you have to be consistent and I think that is something will help me as I am good in short races and I think this will help me to gain more points. Moments like this is an advantage.
MXLarge: When you mentioned you had good races in Riola, you look over to Jeffrey. Do you think that battle will happen again this year?
Prado: Yes, we had some battles in the sand in 2021. He was the guy to beat and I was able to be in front of him for 26 minutes and I counted every single minute, because to be in front of him that long is a lot, for sure in the second moto (in 2021). I am looking forward to getting it done in two weeks’ time.
MXLarge: Working with Joel (Smets), who has a lot of experience, which must help you a lot or not?
Prado: Yes, this year I have been training with Joel, also doing stuff alone. Joel also lets me do what I feel is best for myself, so we have a combination of my experience and his experience and we are a good match. I have been riding a lot of different tracks to get loose and it has been good working with Joel. I had a good winter, but I still need to get a bit stronger.
MXlarge: Confidence, you are clearly a confident guy, you have two World championships and 36 Grand Prix victories, but Joel is a really confident guy and very positive. That must be nice to bounce off his confidence and his attitude?
Prado: Joel is a very positive guy, so having those good vibes in training or at the Grand Prix, that is his strong point and it gives me a lot of confidence and feel more positive. He loves this sport a lot and that is important. He still lives it like he is still a racer, so that is nice to have on your side.
MXlarge: What about the whole Argentina experience?
Prado: Argentina is always like our second home Grand Prix and we speak Spanish and I have so many fans coming over to stay hello. It is just a really nice experience and it makes it nice to race in front of them and win, because they celebrate with me and the crowds enthusiasm is just very positive for me.
Juan Pablo Acevedo images