Jorge Prado often finds himself at the head of the field at each round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, no matter the conditions, which has infuriated some contenders. Prado, who stepped up to the division twelve months ago, uses all the power within his Red Bull KTM to take the holeshot more often than not and has actually claimed fourteen of the thirty-two holeshot awards through sixteen rounds. That is a phenomenal stat, right?
Prado is seemingly very capable and will continue to reel off race wins, like he has done three times this year, no matter where his career takes him. That natural talent that he possesses has made him very difficult to pass, which has caused Pauls Jonass and Jeremy Seewer to vent their frustration in recent weeks. It is hardly surprising that the latter, Seewer, is often left in a state of despair, as most would presume that team orders are at play in that situation. That happens more often than some may realise, after all.
That is clearly not the case though, as Pauls Jonass is equally as concerned. “In the first few laps he was riding pretty close," the current series leader stated after a brief tussle with his teammate in qualifying at Uddevalla. “In some places, I think it was a little bit too close. It was quite dangerous." It is fairly unorthodox for a rider to talk about their teammate in such a manner, especially in a setting such as a press conference, but it has been quite clear that the situation has progressed somewhat in recent weeks. The fact that Jonass is in such a high-pressure situation would have caused the minor incidents to be put beneath a microscope.
Unsurprisingly, Jorge Prado had a different opinion on the battles that the pair have had. “He [Pauls Jonass] is talking about the championship and riding safe, because that is the most important thing," Prado commented exclusively after the Grand Prix of Sweden. “He was telling me about clean fighting, but I always do my best. I am not a dirty rider at all and never make block passes or anything like that. I always try to ride clean, because I like race fair. In the qualifying race we got a bit close, but it was not my mistake. We were together into a corner and, if he was thinking about the championship, he could have braked, because I was going for it. It was his own mistake that we were close."
“Today in the second moto I was kind of surprised, because I knew he was there," Prado continued. “I did not even take the first line to cut him off. I just took the second rut, so that he could pass me pretty easily, but he chose to come straight over the ruts, something that I do not understand pretty good right now. He had a lot of space and I don’t know why he needs to do that. I like to race clean. Also at Lommel, I think [it was] the first moto, he was blocking me over every jump, something that I would never do.
“I think this sport is already dangerous enough and, if you have riders like him cutting you in the middle of the jump, I do not think it is really smart from him. He is the points leader and the guy to beat. I need to deal with it right now, but next year we have another chance. I will be stronger and, if I am one hundred percent, he will get in trouble with me," he concluded.
Although Prado, who sits seventh in the current standings, has admitted that he did attempt to give his teammate some room in that second moto at the previous round, it is quite clear that there are no firm orders in place from Red Bull KTM. With that in mind, it really would not be surprising at all to see him reel off a couple more victories before the season concludes. One could confidently state that he’ll take a holeshot this weekend and, consequently, be in the best possible position to succeed.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer