Prado shocked by Sardinia success after rapid racing return

Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing rider Jorge Prado’s beaming grin on the rostrum for the Grand Prix of Sardinia last weekend told its own story. Two weeks after the 21-year-old had dislocated a shoulder (GASGAS did not communicate which joint) and sat out the Grand Prix of Italy at Maggiora in the wake of claiming five podium finishes in the first five rounds, he went 3-3 in the sapping sand of Riola Sardo to put his 2022 title aspirations back on track.

Prior to Calvin Vlaanderen’s success in Sardinia, Prado had been the only rider to have halted Tim Gajser’s streak of victory when he won the Portuguese Grand Prix. There were fears that his season had been ruined by the training accident but the Spanish star was somehow able to compete in the island sand and raised hopes for his home round in Madrid at the end of May.

“I shouldn’t be here,” Prado underlined, after making a disbelieving gesture to his team while on the Riola podium. “I worked as hard as possible with the best physio. It wasn’t just a case of the shoulder coming out it was a small fracture and damaged ligaments but it was strong enough and I had no pain which was the most important thing. I was recovering quite good. It’s not the easiest track here and I didn’t even know if I could ride but I could do quite well on Saturday and the goal was for some points. On the podium and 2nd overall is a great way to come back.”

“Now we can think about the Spanish GP,” he added. “I have two weeks to work. Last year it was the best GP of the year and I’m expecting something similar. I hope I can go for the win.”

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Prado clearly used a quota of his fortune for the season. A heavy crash during qualification in Riola on Saturday did not carry any consequences.

“Luckily I didn’t hurt my shoulder; I don’t know what is going on!” he smiled.

MX2 rider Mattia Guadagnini’s promotion to the MC 450 F and the MXGP class for the race in Sardinia prompted speculation that Prado would face a lengthy spell on the sidelines and was actually advised to have surgery. His last-minute decision to try the fixture paid-off. Guadagnini is slated to remain in MXGP this year after an underwhelming campaign so far.

“He’s a big guy so for the 250 it was a little tough,” Prado said of his teammate. “It will be good to train together and to have a reference. He’s a good rider so hopefully we can work together and push each other.”

Article: Adam Wheeler

Pic: MXGP/Infront Moto Racing