Interview: Jorge Prado on getting back to winning ways and GasGas development
It hasn’t been the start of the season many people expected for Jorge Prado as he was one of the title favourites coming into the season and whilst he has had plenty of podiums the win had been eluding him. However, that all changed at round four of MXGP in Portugal as Prado took his first MXGP overall win of the season to claw back some championship points on Gajser and move into second in the championship standings.
We caught up with Prado to discuss his season so far, getting back to winning ways and development of the new GasGas.
GateDrop: Jorge, it hasn’t been an unbelievable start to the season for you and especially after Argentina, it must make this MXGP win here at Portugal that little bit special?
Prado: Well, I mean the start of the season, I’ve been on the podium at every single round so I wouldn’t say it was bad, it was just maybe not what we all expected. But it was great here in Portugal to get the overall and I am very happy, a big relief taking this win and hopefully I can ride a bit looser for the next round. I am super proud of making it happen, let’s get back to work and keep pushing.
GateDrop: This track hasn’t been on the calendar for the last two year, was it good to be back here? A lot of Spanish fans made the trip so that must have been nice, and I thought the track was quite rough?
Prado: Yeah, the track was rough, it was rough. Yesterday it was a completely different track, it was more flat, they didn’t rip it so I didn’t see a rut but today was completely different. There were way more ruts and it was softer in places and way more bumpy – totally different. It was great to get back here after two years without racing. It’s a nice track, a nice layout and it’s close to Spain so it’s basically like a home GP and I am very happy to race here. I’m only around three hours from my hometown so lots of fans come over and it’s great to see old friends and stuff – it’s great.
GateDrop: You touched on the track there being bumpier today, I felt Argentina was very very fast and you needed to hang it out around that track. Is that maybe the one weakness you have when you’re against someone like Gajser who can pin it without any worries?
Prado: I mean Gajser, he was very fast in Argentina but also here, he’s got very good pace and is a very good rider. I mean, he’s four times world champion so it’s hard, it’s hard to beat him. He is first position in the championship and that tells you a lot, but Argentina was tough for me. I didn’t feel good, and the track was super-fast without any lines so I struggled a lot so I am happy to come back to Europe to the normal typical tracks.
GateDrop: You have a new GasGas model this year, what has it been like with the new bike? Have there been any difficulties, and do you feel it’s near the level of last years bike yet?
Prado: Well, we are always trying to improve, we are pushing a lot and we have made some improvements. I think we are one step further, but I just need to get my stuff all together and ride a little bit better. We have small steps to make but I am taking my time this year, I don’t want to risk, I don’t want to crash… I just want to be on the bike and not make mistakes. I’m taking my time to finish the season by making all the races, but we are good.
GateDrop: Just on your starts, I mean last year it felt like you pretty much got every single holeshot… This year the starts are still good, but I feel like you aren’t guaranteed the holeshots anymore. Do you think that’s down to the bike setup or just on you?
Prado: We are still figuring out a couple of things that changed from last year. But I think today I did have two holeshots, well… they put the line in the wrong place (laughs) because otherwise I had both, at Mantova I started first, also at Matterley Basin in the second moto and also Argentina. So, I’m the guy with the most holeshots at the moment on race day so I think I still start quite well.
Main pic: GasGas
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Podcast! Jonathan McCready gets the inside story from Andy McKinstry who was at the Portuguese MXGP and they also discuss the chances of Jeffrey Herlings racing the US Nationals.
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