Prado, Febvre and Watson talk ahead of MXGP 2023

A confident Jorge Prado who is now working with Joel Smets, an excited Romain Febvre who is working closely with Japan and a very honest Ben Watson on enjoying the relaxed Italian life discuss the upcoming MXGP season that kicks off today in Argentina.

Prado: For me it’s very nice to start the season over here. Being Spanish, it’s kind of like a second home GP as well, I have many fans over here, it’s very cool, it’s incredible with the fans and the track is very special. I’m really happy to start the season with this track and after my results here in the last years, very confident, so let’s see how it goes.

I’m quite happy (with pre-season) we work a lot on the bike, we got a lot of information from last year so, the team tried to do as much as possible trying to feel our best coming into this season so I changed a little bit my preparation. I have been working with Joel Smets, I have been riding more in Belgium, I went to Spain, I went to many places to be honest, it was nice and a different motivation. I feel quite confident in myself so we will see how it goes. I was racing in Spain as well at my home track in the Spanish championship, it was incredible to see so many fans come over and it was great racing with my mate Ruben, so it was nice.

I am healthy, so that is very important, in motocross it is hard to always be 100% and small crashes you can get little injuries and little setbacks but luckily this winter has been gong very well. Last year I got third overall in the championship, which was okay, nothing special, hopefully this year we can get a title.

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Febvre: It was good to win or end up on the podium (at the end of last year after injury) after where I was coming from but now it’s a new season and happy to be here healthy and fit.

The preparation was really good, we had a good winter time in Italy because we have a new factory bike, so a lot of testing. It took a little bit longer to get used to it because we are working really closely with Japan so it’s definitely nice because they are really pushing to develop that bike and it’s good to be part of that program also. We did some pre-season races but not that much, we will see how it goes this weekend.

It’s my favourite track of the calendar (Argentina) but I have never been on the podium or won races! I still love the place even if I have got injured, hopefully I can be on the podium this weekend.

Watson: For me this is the first winter I have spent outside Belgium and been based in Italy for the majority of the winter, so that has been one of the biggest changes. I have gone from a kind of a strange atmosphere to let’s say in Italy, they don’t really have a plan, it’s just ideas, everyone is so relaxed. In that way, it has been a really big change, I have enjoyed trying to find the fun and enjoy being on a bike again, last year was really difficult in that way, I just struggled mentally I should have tried to enjoy it a bit more, that’s what I need rebuild from and try to be myself again because I know I can ride a bike good when I am there mentally.

I’m not really one to say I want to be on the podium or this or that but I have some goals I keep to myself, but the first thing is to enjoy it because I’m not weak mentally but if things get into my head it can affect me more that it does some other riders, so for me it’s to find the enjoyment again and when I’m happy on the bike my result will follow it.