Interview: Jorge Prado off to USA!
Lommel (Belgium) .- The suitcase is ready at the main door of his home in Lommel. Inside there are clothes for more than two months, school books, multiple models of Red Bull hats and two helmets which show that this is not about tourism. The rest of the heavier material was sent directly to California by his team. Precisely the KTM Factory Racing team proposed the American adventure to seduce the boy and close the contract with the great international motocross promise until 2021.
The Spaniard Jorge Prado, the youngster of fourteen who dazzled the fans with his meteoric progression, leaves to the United States in California in preparation for 2016 and will start living what for him is a dream, “From the moment I started racing, my goal has been to reach the AMA Supercross Championship and now we will take a small step. I will train there, with American pros, to try supercross and learn about a country that looks at this sport with passion.”
While his father checks documentation and luggage, Jorge cannot hide his joy for the trip: “I have not been there, but I know it well after watching so many videos, I know that there are many spectacular tracks and good weather … All I need to have a good preseason. “
Which will be the weekly plan?
“Riding, at least four days a week, two days I will go bicycling and one for rest and getting to know the place.”
Will you do motocross or supercross?
“At first motocross because I have been off the bike for a month and I have to ease back into shape, but of course later I will start with supercross which is what I really like.”
The rider from Lugo will be integrated into the 250 KTM-Red Bull-TLD team structure, whose headquarters are located south of Los Angeles in the city of Temecula: “I will train much with Jessy Nelson and Shane McElrath, but I hope to meet and ride with the rest of KTM riders and for that matter,I hope to meet James Stewart and Ken Roczen. “
What is the purpose of the trip?
“Learn and learn. Getting as much time on the bike as possible to be able to adapt quickly … I guess also eat many burgers and the occasional ice cream..”
When will you return?
“In January, just after the first AMA Supercross race in Anaheim, we will stay and get to see the atmosphere from inside.”
Who will you travel with?
“I’m going with my father to live in an apartment, but my mother and my sister will come for Christmas holidays.”
And what about your studies?
“No problem, we talked with my Lommel school and they have greatly facilitated things for me. I have to carry on with the lessons by myself and ask any questions by mail or by videoconference. At the moment, as I have very good grades, they trust me. “
It is true that the opportunity to race in the US in the medium/long term has weighed heavily in the negotiations with KTM, but still Jorge does not know when he will make the leap: “So far in 2016 I will race in Europe and then back to United States in winter to keep building step by step, but you can’t know today, depends on what they think in KTM and also how I go … If I’m no good at supercross then I will not go there. “
Where do you think it’s highest level?
“I think the American level is very high and Europe also, but both are different, I think Dungey would not win in Europe, like Cairoli would not win in USA, although undoubtedly Jeffrey Herlings is above all. He is the best.”
CHAMPION OF EUROPE
The trip to America is the finishing touch to a brilliant season for Prado, which has exceeded all expectations: “After riding the 85 cc with small wheels, it was my first season in 125 with a more powerful and heavier bike, we came out looking to finish in the top ten in the EMX and it turns out I’ve won, I am the European champion, we did not expect that. “
–And after that you moved on to the 250, how was the change?
“As in the transition from 85 to 125, this has not been a very sudden but progressive change. The most difficult thing is to adapt to the difference in weight and having the strength to hold the bike, but I like the change to the four stroke engine, because I like to change gears very soon, so the engine is well suited to my style. Anyway, if you go fast on a bike, you go fast on all them. “
The race in Talavera Spanish Nationals has been a good indicator to measure yourself right?
“Yes, I had only been on the 250 cc for a month, plus I crashed heavily in qualifying, but despite that I felt great, I finished second and I could see that I’m close to Iker Larrañaga and Ander Valentín, who have already proven that they can be up front at the European races, so that encourages me for next year and to work hard in the preseason. “
But the European 250 C.C. will be much more difficult …
“Of course, as there is no age limit and many experienced riders coming down from the MX World Championship. To this we must add all my rivals from this year, who were really strong competitors. It is going to be tough, but I like that… “
Will you start in some MX2 World Championship races?
“I guess so, if all goes well this year then I will race some of the MX2 races and I will give my very best. The level at the head of MX2 is higher, but the average level in the European races is higher, so I’ll go out and do my best, try to get a holeshot and let them catch me, if they can…ha,ha,ha. “
In the sand you’ve shown you’re at the highest level, does that mean you have to improve in hard terrain?
“It’s funny, but the race I won in the European was on hard-pack, so I do not think that I am bad on this terrain, even more so because the Spanish Championship is all on hard-pack. I believe I am a complete rider and that is very noticeable in the sand, where other riders struggle. “
And you also use trials riding as training?
“Yes, it is really fun and improves my balance and confidence on the bike. This month I also did two trial races in Belgium and I placed third in one and first in the other..”
It seems that nothing can stop the Spanish motocross prodigy, not even the microphone. His future will continue to build at the EMX250, in the World MX2 and the American adventure in which only the best have succeeded. Good luck, Jorge !!!
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