Rasmus Jorgensen interview - Husky Boys
Posted on May 14, 2019
With rain pelting down in Mantova last weekend, the boys at the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team were still smiling. Despite Jorge Prado clearly controlling the weekend, their two riders Thomas Olsen and Jed Beaton held down the other two podium places as the second MX2 moto crawled its way to the finish.
With Olsen running second in the second race and having claimed a sixth in the opening moto he would be second overall, and Beaton was looking to finish third behind his team-mate in the overall points.
The Aussie had finished third in the opening moto and was running sixth in moto two with a handful of laps remaining when he went down hard trying to miss out of shape Tom Vialle. The crash would drop Beaton down to 17th place and seventh overall.
Team coach, Rasmus Jorgensen spoke to us about his two riders and their season so far.
MXlarge: It was a muddy mess in Mantova. How did you feel your riders did coming away from there?
Jorgensen: Yes, well, obviously you know, Jed had a difficult off-season with injuries and stuff, so this long break really did him well. We did a lot of work in the five weeks and on the practice tracks I think we made a big step and I think everyone saw that on the weekend. First moto he came to third from a long way back and in the second moto he was in a good position for third overall, but unfortunately, he went down, but these things happen. It was a shame, because it would have been nice to have two on the podium, but we will get that another time.
MXlarge: Can you explain what happened and how is he feeling?
Jorgensen: I think, he had a small migraine and that is about it. It was a big crash. Vialle made a big mistake in front of the jump and a couple of riders passed Vialle, but Vialle jumped to the right and Jed had to also jump to the right and he crashed. These things happen, but in these conditions, it was a little bad luck. He is banged up for sure and we try and get him as fit as possible for Portugal.
MXLarge: Jed has had a handful of good rides since he has been in Europe and you get the feeling, he could be a regular podium guy once now that he is getting back in shape and on the factory bike.
Jorgensen: Yes, I mean, I think, that is why we signed him. We saw some potential and he is a hard worker and he wants it so bad and is very respectful. It is a pleasure to work with him, and he never gives up. It has been a really hard road for him after the big accident in England. Sitting on the couch for six months and starting from nothing, then having some small injuries and as you know the weekend before Argentina broke some vertebrae. Just when he starts looking really good and matching Thomas (Olsen) in training and they really used each other and put pressure on each other. Then something happens like in Mantova on the weekend, but he won’t give up and we will continue to support him all the way.
MXlarge: With Thomas, I think everyone feels that Jorge (Prado) is on another level, and he is a very special rider. How do you guys look at that and work around it, does Thomas just do his best and see what happens?
Jorgensen: Yes. We have spoken a lot about it. Nine out of 10 times Prado takes the holeshot, and we are trying to improve the starts, but the fact is Thomas is 20 kilos heavier than Prado and he is a big guy. It is hard to beat those odds you know. The only thing we can do is go to work every week and try and improve and that is what we are doing. At the moment he is the second guy, and he is consistent, and he is enjoying racing. He is leading the championship and not many guys get to do that in their careers. Facts show that Prado is better at the moment, and we are working hard and trying to beat him. What you said, he is a special kid, and in all conditions. It is what is it.
MXLarge: And of course, you have to be realistic.
Jorgensen: Yes, we have to be realistic, and he isn’t unbeatable. Thomas on a good day can beat him straight up, but at the moment, that isn’t the case.
MXlarge: Thomas seems like a nice guy, is he maybe too nice? If you see some other guys in MX2, they really don’t mind riding a little rough. I am not saying those guys are not good guys, but they are willing to push you over the bank, or block pass or whatever. Maybe you need to get a bit rough with Prado?
Jorgensen: He is a nice guy, but if you look at last year, turn the start statistics around, I think Prado wouldn’t have been World champion, I don’t think he can come through like Thomas can from a bad start. About the rough riding, I think Thomas is sometimes too nice, but also, he is way smarter than the other guys in MX2. He is super consistent and picks his battles wisely and I see a much more matured rider this year. I like that more. Sure, sometimes you need to be rough and he showed that in England after Jacobi made some dumb moves and he put it in there and said I am not a guy you can push around. I think it’s a good balance. He is in the good mental state and happy.
MXLarge: How old is Thomas?
Jorgensen: He can do MX2 again in 2020.
MXLarge: Because he is a big guy, you sometimes think he should be on a 450.
Jorgensen: Yes, and we had that talk many times. At one-point last year he was trying so hard to stay light, and it wasn’t fun for him anymore. He was seriously thinking of going 450. He had to be so strict with the food and push his body to be five kilos under his normal weight and then it is a long season. This year he is back to 80 kilos and he feels better. I think if he stays like this, and he can fight for the title again in 2020 and take experience with him to MXGP.
MXlarge: And with Prado gone Thomas is the next man standing for 2020.
Jorgensen: Yes, I mean, this season is still long, and Thomas still wants to take the title this year, but no matter what, Thomas will stay in MX2 in 2020 and he will be more ready for the challenge of MXGP. He will then have had four years in MX2, and he wants to fight for the title this year and also in 2020.