MXLarge Logo
Jorge Prado interview - Winner

Jorge Prado interview - Winner

May 13

  • Interview

If there was any doubt about who is the man in MXGP in 2024, Jorge Prado reminded everyone last weekend in Lugo, Spain. Racing on a circuit carrying his name, and with a huge, vocal and local crowd in attendance, the defending MXGP champion went 1-1-1 for the weekend and regained the red plate. To say celebrations went into the night in Lugo, would be an understatement.

The previous weekend in Portugal was like just a distant memory or even a dream, while Lugo turned into a nightmare for the likes of Tim Gajser, Jeffrey Herlings and Romain Febvre. There is no other way of looking at it, because all three of those men, look in great form, but just are not quick enough to gain points on the three-time World motocross champion.

Many of us wanted to see a war between the four in Lugo, but instead, what we got was a manslaughter, as Prado dominated and rode the pace he had to, to win, not pushing at 100%, and just controlling the race from the front.

In the form Prado is in, I would even bet that he is the fastest man on the planet at the moment and not even sensational Jett Lawrence could beat him. A big call, but the speed of MXGP this year has gone to another level and I don't see the AMA motocross competition raising the speed or level of Lawrence in 2024.

Boy, has the AMA motocross championship lucked out if Prado is going to the USA in 2025, as all the rumours will have you believe, because Lawrence vs Prado might just be what we are watching for the next decade.

MXlarge: Jorge, what can you say, just a dream come true?

Prado: Yes, for sure. I mean, winning is super difficult and to make it at my home Grand Prix, I mean Madrid was already my home GP, but of course, this place is more my home Grand Prix. I grew up 15 minutes from here and I grew up riding a track that is just 30 seconds from here. So, this is the area I grew up and it just makes it even more special. With all the stuff (media) I had to do during the week and on this weekend, it was tough, but I enjoyed it a lot. It was a tough track, especially in that second moto, where there were so many ruts. I got the win on Saturday, coming from the back, I did it today starting up front, so, pretty much this weekend, nothing could stop me.

MXLarge: So, you got the red plate back and it was a bit like you did that on purpose to lose it and then win it back here in Lugo?

Prado: The people were saying to me, you will get the red plate back here and I was like, after winning the four GPs in a row and the points gap was not even 14 points, so I knew it was super difficult. Gajser made mistakes and I didn’t and here we are with the red plate. To have it is important, but it is more important to keep it until the end of the season and that is what I am going to work for.

MXLarge: It has been a really great Grand Prix. The city of Lugo is beautiful and this track, with the large crowd has a bit of an Argentina type of vibe, with the trees and the enthusiast supporters. Can you explain how you found it?

Prado: Well, what can I say about my city. I like my city where I grew up. I hope the people around the paddock got the chance to visit and enjoyed it. The city also has a lot of history and talking about this place (the track), it is full of trees, kind of like Sweden vibes or Argentina also. I think it is cool to have a track in the middle of the trees. It is a brand new track, only years old and it is nice the city got involved after my two titles in the MX2 class and they are pushing to make events, like the Spanish championship now the last two years and so quickly a Grand Prix and it is awesome for my fans too.

MXLarge: After last week, the other guys gained a lot of momentum, and they must have thought, this is our chance. Did you ever think that and how good was it to take that momentum back so quickly?

Prado: Basically, once you drop just a bit, basically, last weekend was a muddy race the whole weekend, Saturday qualification race and both races on Sunday. They got the momentum that they did better than me in the mud and for sure, they got super hyped, and they quickly forgot the first four rounds, so it was cool to bounce back here. I mean, I was not really worried. In warm-up in Agueda I was P1, practice I was second, free practice on top again, so every time it was dry, I was on it, it was just the mud, I just didn’t feel confident, I didn’t want to get hurt in those conditions, but we bounced back.

MXlarge: Watching you race, you can nearly see that you are just riding to what you have to, not pushing too hard and if the riders behind you close the gap, then you turn it up a little to get away again. The gap often remains the same, four or five seconds and if it gets to two or three seconds, you turn it up again. It’s like you are riding at maybe 80%. How is that for you?

Prado: I mean, I just need to finish the race in front of them, I don’t need to lap anyone, I don’t need to put a 10 second gap to anyone. I just go with the flow, a track like today, a bit rough and sketchy, so, I didn’t want to push my limits, or the limit of the bike. So, if Gajser was a second and a half behind. If he was getting closer, I just speed up a bit. Saying that, it was intense, and you have to be focused and you can’t make mistakes right. When you have a 10 second gap, you can maybe afford to make a mistake, but with one or two seconds, you cannot make mistakes and that adds some stress to the body, but I am comfortable dealing with that. It was fun, a very physical track, the bumps were huge. I think the roughest track until now.

MXLarge: I have to say, in Portugal and here on Saturday, when Tim and Jeffrey were in front, they were riding a level that seems as though they were really on their limit and making mistakes. It was like we are not going to let Jorge run away this time. It was great to watch for us the fans, because it looked so intense and exciting, but for you sitting behind them, so you see that intensity and the mistakes they make.

Prado: Yes, I see that. I saw yesterday in the qualification race, when they were in front, they take more risks than I do. That doesn’t mean I can’t crash, or they crash, just different riding styles. Maybe to go on the same speed, they need to go on the limit and that is clear, you can see it obviously. They also make a lot of noise with the bike, it feels like for me, that they are riding a different track, or they just ride with a different style, and it isn’t better or worse, it is just different. They are very good riders, so when I am behind, I also learn how to do things, where I can improve and where I am better. Yesterday in the qualification race, I had to pass the three guys who are behind me in the championship.

MXLarge: And they are really going at a good speed themselves?

Prado: Yes, they go fast, but I was fastest yesterday and again today. You guys (the media) say if I don’t get the starts, I can’t pass, but I proved I can not get the start and can come up through the pack. It is just a matter of the track, matter if I feel good or not.

MXlarge: On the start, you look so comfortable before the gate drops, really relaxed and sometimes I can imagine that Jeffrey, Tim or Romain, they know you are so good out of the start and that must make them very busy with that and they can look a little nervous. Do you get good starts because you are so relaxed and dialled in, and can you feel their nerves on the start line?

Prado: I maybe looks relaxed, but I am fully focused, and I know I start good. I know if I make a mistake, they will get me and we are the best in the World and they are such good riders, they guys behind me in the championship are super good, but if I make a small mistake, they beat me and I am fully focused on the gate.

MXLarge: You didn’t grow up on this track, because many people are saying this is your home track, you train here always, but that isn’t the case, is it?

Prado: So, this track got built in 2022, first time we raced here was Spanish championship in 2023 and I raced again this year in Spanish championship and now today, so basically, that is all the times I have raced here. Today was very different. The Spanish championship was in the winter and obviously this area, it rains so much, so pretty much two years a muddy race. I grew up 500 metres from here, so the dirt is similar, but I moved to Belgium when I was 11 years old, so I have been doing a bit more sand riding, than this kind of riding. But anyway, I think I am quite good in this kind of dirt and the organization made a good job with the ground, because this ground can get a lot worse and very, very slippery.

MXLarge: How was it to spend a week in Lugo, because you are not here much?

Prado: It was very nice. I think I haven’t ridden anymore here on a dirt bike, not since 2012, so on Wednesday I rode on a track about an hour from here and it was cool, because old friends could come over and watch me ride, family also, it was just crazy. It is also cool to be around the family. I also slept in the house of my grandparents, so easy weekend and fun.

MXLarge: Next week, we are back to St Jean d’Angely, what can you tell us about this circuit?

Prado: I think it is a good track for me, because I already won a few times in France and it is hard pack and I like that and also many ruts and that suits my style, St Jean is also one of my favourite tracks, so I am really looking forward to it. I don’t know the weather predictions (rain is forecast), but hopefully it will be like today, or maybe we need to try and improve from Portugal.

JP/GasGas images

More similar articles

Hunter Lawrence interview  image

Hunter Lawrence interview

May 30

  • Interview
World SX Calendar Soon - 2024 image

World SX Calendar Soon - 2024

May 30

  • News