Interview: Jorge Prado leading MXGP with ambition for USA?
MXGP points leader, Jorge Prado, talks to Andy McKinstry about his brilliant start to the season, working with Joel Smets and still harbouring ambitions to go to the USA. Listen or read below:
Jorge Prado, three GPs in, you have had the red plate from the get-go, and you still have it. Three very different tracks and you have been very consistent, so, overall, I don’t think you could have asked for a better start to the season?
Yeah this is a very good start to the season. I have already got quite a few moto wins. So I am very happy, three quali and three first motos, so six from the nine, it’s quite a good start extending this weekend again my points lead. I have been the guy with the most points over the two days so obviously that means i was the best rider out there. Super happy about my fitness, about how I’m racing. I still have room for improvement, we need to keep building , we are in a good way so I am super happy.
What were your thoughts on the track this weekend, obviously very old school like a track in the 80s, maybe it the past a track that wouldn’t have suited you but you seem to be a jack of all trades now. it looked like it got technical at the end there as well?
It’s a very small, track, very tight, super hard to pass and with the lappers it was super sketchy at times, they didn’t move/I lost a lot of time there in the second moto. The second moto was very rough, full of holes, in some places it was looking like enduro, not flowing as much. So, you had to stick and put all the power from your muscles so the bike stays kind of straight and it’s quite tough but it’s nice to come here in Switzerland. It’s nice that a guy like Seewer has a home GP, I think it needs to be like that, every top rider that is contending for a championship needs to have their own Grand Prix. It’s nice to come here and hopefully with some changes to the track it will be a bit more enjoyable. It was nice with the ruts I need to say that, that was cool, hopefully for the next time we have more possibilities of passing.
Coming into the season what where you expectations? last year it wasn’t a disaster but you have very high standard I would say it was an average season for you? But you have stepped it up this season. Coming in for me you were the biggest question mark so did you expect this coming into the season?
My goal coming into every season was to win. Last year I was capable of winning but I just didn’t have the tools to do it. After a tough season last year, my team starts working and over the winter we made some changes and this is what it has led too, I am a guy that has the red plate in the MXGP class and doing it every weekend, I am the most consistent guy and that’s why i am holding it. Last year for me was a year to forget but also it had some positive things pushing all these guys to make the guy get better and thanks to last year struggling, now I can be winning. So yeah sometimes it’s hard and we need to move and enjoy this time and feeling good with the bike and still working.
Watching you around the track is a joy to watch, you are the modern day Stefan Everts I would say! Growing up is that a guy you looked at to take bits from his riding and implement it to you and also you have worked with Joel Smets before you I believe you are back working him, what is it like being back with him?
Well actually, this is first time I am really working with him. He has been working with the team but I was still in school and not really following his program. But now, we are doing things together and the nice thing is his flexibility about the program. I can say what I want to do and what I like to do and we just mix it and I think it is quite cool. About my riding style, I look up to many guys, I have my own style and I try to ride like I feel most comfortable and I have a past of riding a lot of trials so probably it comes from that, it just feels natural for me to stand up a lot and ride with the feet on the pegs and yeah that’s my riding style!
Last question, your contract with Gas Gas is up at the end of the year, the rumours about America never seem to go away with you but I think if you are going to make the move it would probably have to be the end of this year. Are you happy doing GPs and is this where you see your future? I personally hope so!
It depends, I would like to go there and race supercross. For the moment, I am very focused on getting this title, I think it’s the year to get it done. we are in a good way, I really need to stay focused and hammer the training, trying to do my best in every single race, don’t make mistakes and then I think I am able to get this championship and after that, I think I can think about different things like I am interested in, like moving to the US, it would be cool.
Image: InFront Moto Racing