Interview: Jorge Prado on his 2023 MXGP world title!

After years of injury, illness and frustration since he moved up to the premier class, Jorge Prado as finally made it happen. The technique was perfect as was his season management, in what was a season long lesson in patience and classy riding. We caught up with the new MXGP world champ, a beaming Jorge Prado, to get his thoughts on accomplishing a lifelong goal.

Jorge, how does that feel? After a few years of injury and illness and now you are the world champ in the toughest series in the world!

Yeah, it’s been incredible, an incredible day. I have been working very hard for this and it has came together this year, I have been managing every single race very well and been training super hard. The hard work pays off and yeah, super excited for the future as well.

The first moto you had presssure all moto, Romain’s bike quit and you probably knew you were world champion but you still held on for the win!

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I didn’t know! I was just fighting for my race when you are concentrating like this, I didn’t even know. When I saw my guys there then I knew I was the new world champion – but I was just fighting for the moto win!

Was the feeling as good as you expected it to be?

It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain. Those emotions you don’t live on a daily basis, it’s hard to describe everything.

MXPG Italy 2023, Maggiora Rider: Prado_Champ

The second moto I thought you would take it easy but yo holeshot again and I don’t how you held Febvre off for 15 minutes and passed him bacl – how do you deal with that pressure?

Yeah, I was a bit tired with the celebrations! I was really focused on making a good start, I got a rocket start and was managing Febvre but was quite aggressive in places, he passed me once and I could pass him back but then, the next time he passed me I thought second was alright, but then Tim was svery close and almost let Tim go by. I was just riding third and let them have a little bit of space then the last laps I was catching them but I lost the front with two laps to go which was a pity because I would have had the overall.

You said in another interview with Gatedrop you haven’t really ridden at 100% this year, what percentage have you been riding at? 90-95?

I have been at a percentage that I know I wouldn’t make any mistakes. Today, for example, I made a mistake but it was not a mistake because of going over the limit, I just lost the front there, it was super, super hard like concrete. But no, I have been riding safe, no mistakes and stay on the bike.

Did you ever doubt this would happen after some tough year and you weren’t comfortable on the bike last year – you are only 22 I forgot how young you were.

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Yeah, sometimes you don’t know if this day would come. Not because of the hard work or the talent but just because so mnay pieces need to come together. Last year I didn’t feel good on the my bike so I couldn’t fight for it, other years because of the injuries. For example, in 21 I was second in the championship and four points away from the lead and I had that crash at the finish line with the moto win and hurt myself. So many things can happen, sometimes out of our hands, but this year, made it happen.

MXPG Italy 2023, Maggiora Rider:

Three world titles at 22 have you a goal in mind of how many you want? You don’t seem that type of guy you are pretty chilled!

No, my goal is to keep enjoying racing. Take the holeshot so I don’t get roosted and keep enjoying riding!

Finally, MXoN, Ruben Fernandez was very fast today, Braceras was fast today, you have a very strong team going into Ernee, are you excited about that now?

Yeah, I think going into MXoN we have a good team. Ruben was third today, yeah i think we have a strong one. We need to enjoy the moment then go into the Nations and enjoy the race with the team.

And you are Open class, which means you will only race Jett once, everyone will be looking forward to that! Why the Open class?

Yeah I am going to race the Open class because I will have less time to recover, so that’s the plan. I am in very good shape this year, I wanted to race the open class so Ruben could get a little bit extra time and be 100% every single moto and I think the rest (between moto 2 and 3) is good enough for me and this is why I chose the open class.

Interview: Jonathan McCready

Images: JPA