Talking point: Jorge Prado – Is his future away from KTM?

Quite a lot of the Motocross media have been speculating on Jorge Prado’s future this week as rumours circulate he could be leaving Factory KTM. There are some truth to these reports, we heard from some very reliable sources at the end of July that Prado’s agent has been in talks with Factory Yamaha and the manufacturer are strongly interested in signing the young Spanish talent. 

If Yamaha get their way and Prado gets his way, this is probably a deal that will happen but nothing is signed at the moment and it will be a complicated deal between all the parties involved.  

Back in 2019, Prado signed a long-term contract with KTM seeing him through to the end of the 2023 season – that’s two more years after the current season so Yamaha would need to buy out this contract to start with. For Yamaha, this isn’t thought to be an issue as they really want an MXGP world title and finances won’t stop them signing Prado if they have the chance. 

The sticking point might come down to KTM and the Austrians. As they have Prado signed up to the 2023 season, they could put their foot down and retain Prado. After all, the young Spaniard is the future of the MXGP World Championship. At just twenty years old he’s already challenging for an MXGP world title and Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli aren’t getting any younger. 

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The problem KTM might have is that Prado is currently under the same awning as Antionio Cairoli under Claudio de Carli’s structure. If rumours are to be believed, the atmosphere in the team isn’t what it was at the start of the 2020 season and Prado isn’t particularly happy about it. 

It’s a bad kept secret that de Carli’s structure will be making the switch to GasGas for the 2022 season and at this moment of time Cairoli is planning to race and stay with the team. The problem for the Austrian brands is where will they put Prado if he is to remain? Dirk Gruebel’s KTM structure is thought to be remaining the same for the 2022 season and it wouldn’t be ideal to have Herlings and Prado under the same awning. 

Perhaps, Factory Husqvarna would be an option for Prado but rumours suggest Romain Febvre is in talks to join up with Thomas Kjer Olsen under the Nestaan Husqvarna team for the 2022 season. If that was too happen there wouldn’t be room for Prado there either. 

One thing for sure, is that we certainly haven’t heard the last of this – we will continue to keep you updated as and when we hear more. 

Article: Andy McKinstry 

Pic: Ray Archer

 

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