Interview: Jorge Prado on his first AMA supercross

We caught up with a happy Jorge Prado who impressed all day at Anaheim to qualify ninth fastest and get straight to the main from his heat race before running top ten for half the race, eventually finishing 13th and a successful debut in the toughest class in years and with only 6 weeks prep in supercross. What an achievement for the MXGP world champ.

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Jorge that was impressive, how did you find the experience, was it a success finishing 13th? For me it was!

Yeah, I think it was a very good day. Everything is new for me, the race format, racing at night, racing at night made me feel a bit uncomfortable, just because I am not used to it. There are things I need experience to start feeling better, the track was so different compared to what I am used to too!

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I felt quite good all around the track just the whoops in the main didn’t feel good, just because I have never seen whoops like that in my life before and I didn’t know how to approach them and I need to learn that. All these guys, they already know that, I didn’t know.

I had a good start from the outside, if I had made more inside I maybe would have holeshot. It’s a good place to build P13, it’s not too bad. If you look at all the guys that are racing, it’s a deep field.

You looked really comfortable in practice, whipping it over the finish line then the heat race you didn’t get your usual start but was that good for your confidence to work your way into the top nine?

I mean, the heat race you have half of the good riders, you know you have to be up front and then you know you’ll be good for the main. I didn’t have a very bad start but then the first four corners I think I lost six position and was 12th or 13th or something, it was horrible. Just because I never experienced it, I went into the corner and I should have gone in a different direction and done different things but it’s the experience I get for the next round and I’m happy.

Did you find the first few laps intense?

It’s funny because we also have a lot of intensity in MXGP but, when you are that level, it doesn’t feel intense, yeah, you are going fast but it feels normal. For me this feels more intense just because I am not at that level, so it’s totally normal but for sure if I can step up and get a little bit better I will feel more comfortable and play a little more with the track, but I think I did okay.

When you are sitting on the line for the heat race and the main event where you nervous, excited? This is a huge change from what you’ve ever done and only 6 weeks prep! What was going through your head?

I just felt very uncomfortable, like weird. I was standing there thinking, ‘what am I doing here?!’ But that is normal, when something is new you have to figure it out. It’s the same in MXGP, when they come over, and they need to ride Lommel and all these different kind of tracks we have, they will struggle and I will feel comfortable. And probably it’s worse for me to come here because they race motocross here, this, I’ve never done before. It’s a good start I’m happy.

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I don’t know if there are words to describe how well you’ve done, especially in this class, you were catching Adam Cianciarulo at the end and to come from no supercross experience with six weeks prep to go 9th in qualifying and 13th, it’s a fantastic achievement.

Yeah, it’s good. If the main event had two more laps, I would maybe pass AC and Malcolm, so yeah, we need to figure it out a little bit more, I think I can improve for the next round.

It seems mostly the whoops, everywhere else you were pretty similar to Tomac, especially that second set of whoops, I saw you trying to jump through them, skim them, it was different every time!

I try everything! I try wheel tapping, one time I go left, one time I go right! Every time I got to that set, I am like, ‘ what the hell am I going to do?!’ but it is what is.

Interview: Jonathan McCready

Image: Align media