Jorge Prado was already considered a dominant force in the MX2 class, but his performance at Valkenswaard cemented that status. Fresh off a shoulder injury, which forced him to miss the second round, he dominated and silenced any doubters. This then raised questions about the severity of his injury, but Prado answers that in this exclusive MX Vice interview from the Grand Prix of The Netherlands.
MX Vice: You had a shoulder injury. You came back and you just dominated completely, like it was easy, so I am confused. How bad was this shoulder injury? Did you feel pain today? What the hell was going on?
Jorge Prado: It was quite bad honestly. The good thing was that there was never anything broken, so that was good. It was bad. I had a crash and then I could still train for a few days. After one training, the next day I woke up and I just could not stand up anymore and could not breathe. We made it to one point that it was so painful I just could not do anything… I could not move basically. I was very scared, because I felt that every day it was getting only worse and worse.
Four days ago, I still did not know if I could race. I came here. I tried yesterday for the first day after more than two and a half weeks of no riding, no cycling and no running. Nothing, but I felt good directly. Yesterday I had some issues with the injury a little bit, but this morning I woke up and normally it should feel worse, maybe, but no. It definitely felt better. I am happy how all the weekend went.
Yesterday free practice was the first time that you have been on the bike in two and a half weeks. I think you only did five laps, but you went fastest, so did you just surprise yourself?
I only had to do five laps to see how it was on the bike and how I felt. I said, “I do not want to make so many laps to get tired. I do not want to override, so maybe it gets worse." I did not know. I tried to go easy also I think in the timed practice. I did six laps. Neither of those were perfect laps. I could go better, but it was good enough. Definitely a good weekend.
I am guessing one of the good things with your shoulder is that… I did not feel like you really had to push much today. You definitely were not on your limit, so that obviously made it easy. If someone had pushed you so that you had to ride on the edge a little bit, that is when things could have gone bad.
Yeah. Honestly if I really had to push then things would be a bit more complicated, but today the shoulder was feeling better. I think today would have been also possible to push, but yesterday I could not even put… Today too actually. I could not put the clip for the start on the suspension, so my mechanic did it this weekend. It was tough, because I really could not brake hard. I had to really roll everything and ride smooth.
Also, after a long time of no riding, I got small blisters, but riding you do not feel [them]. After a long time with no riding, at the end of the moto you start to get a little bit tired. Not really tired, but it is like tired, because you did not really ride or do any sports the last weeks. For not riding and not doing anything for the last two and a half weeks, I think it went pretty well.
At Matterley obviously the news came out that you were missing it, because of your shoulder. There were a lot of crazy rumors going around. Someone told me that the shoulder was a lie and you had injured your knee and it was all a cover-up. Someone told me that both of your shoulders were injured. Someone told me that your shoulder was so bad that you were not coming back at all. It is just one hematoma under your shoulder blade though, yeah? That was it? There was never really too much panic?
It was just a small injury. It was not even the shoulder. It was underneath the shoulder blade. I had some issues there. It got so bad that I could not move, like I said before. I could not do anything or take anything. I do not even know. It was more painful, even than if you break maybe the collarbone or a bone like that. I could not breathe too. If I tried to do something that put my heart rate a little bit high, I could not continue or breathe. It was just painful, like it was a bit yesterday.
You are obviously always good in the sand. This was not the sandiest Valkenswaard ever, not by a long shot, and every rider I have spoken to did not really like it, because it was fast and sketchy. How did you feel about the conditions?
The track was hard, honestly. It was good that we had good weather. The track was bumpy… Bumpy if you stay on the line that everybody rides, but if you move two meters then you were again on the flat. If I need to describe the track, I would say it was not really bumpy. I would like bumpier, but it was hard. It is difficult to get a really rough sand track, because it was not really sandy, but it was fun. I enjoyed it. It was a bit sketchy. Some hard pieces, so that made it dangerous, but it was okay.
Your shoulder is not at one hundred percent yet, so are you going to be able to train and ride this week or are you just having another week off and then going straight to Trentino?
Yeah, I need to see how I feel tomorrow morning. I can take another week off. It is not a problem next weekend. It is hard-pack, so I feel really good right now. It is also a track that I enjoy riding. We will see how it goes these days and we will see if I train or not.
There is no stress about the points, is there? You went 1-1 in Argentina, 1-1 here and I think you are fifth in the points with missing one of the rounds…
I am fourth, I think.
Even better! There is nothing to worry about at all. Some riders would be stressing in this situation. You have proven you are good enough to make it up.
I just need to keep the focus, not make any mistakes and keep riding like I know and training. Right now, that is it.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX