Jorge Prado actually almost won the FIM Motocross World Championship at the Grand Prix of The Netherlands, but came up four points short. It will almost certainly happen at the finale in Italy, which will take place in a little less than two weeks, though. Prado talks about the prospect of achieving that goal, plus his dominant day at Assen and the Motocross of Nations in this exclusive MX Vice interview.
MX Vice: Another good day. Another overall win. Another 1-1. A load of points gained. Yet again a perfect day and there is really nothing to moan about at all.
Jorge Prado: Yeah, it was a perfect weekend. Yesterday got the qualifying race win, so that put me in a really good position for the motos. The inside I think today was probably the best gate. I managed to get two good starts. In the first moto Hunter [Lawrence] passed me after three corners. I went a bit wide and he just got me on the inside, but I stayed calm. Three or four laps later I could make the pass for the lead in that first moto and led all the way. In that second moto got the holeshot and could finish first.
It was hard this weekend, not because really of the track. The track was quite flat and everybody could go pretty fast, but we had so many lappers who did not make it easy to pass as well. I think the most difficult thing today was just knowing how to go through the lappers. I always try to get a decent gap in the first twenty minutes, so then the last ten with the lappers I had some gap that I could play with a little bit. I think the most difficult thing today was the lappers.
Did you think about the championship at all today? It was possible for you to win it. You would have needed some help from Pauls [Jonass], but it was possible. Seeing Jeffrey [Herlings] celebrate and everything, I guess you started to think a little bit about how that could be you very soon?
Well, I did not really think about the championship today. I was really thinking on getting better and better while riding, because the track was quite challenging. It was difficult to get the perfect rhythm. I knew I could go faster than what I did, so every lap I was trying to improve and trying to see new lines. Then for sure after that first moto of Jeffrey, seeing him winning and getting the title… I saw him also fighting with Tony [Cairoli] and everything.
I just wanted to copy their riding style to the second moto and be fast like them. I really did not think about the championship. I was thinking more about getting better, because there is still a long way. MX2 is really important as well, but MXGP class is the last step. If I ever want to be like them I need to improve and that is what I did today, tried to improve.
In that first moto, did your team let you know that Pauls had crashed in the first corner? Did you know where he was at all or would you rather just not know that stuff?
No, I really did not know. I was focusing on riding. Like I said before, trying to make that gap before we came to the lappers. I did not know at all.
This is the first year we have had a proper dry Assen. There has not really been any rain at all. Do you think that is why the track was so flat and why the backmarkers were much worse?
No, I think it was flat because they just flattened it with the machine. At the end of the second moto, then it was getting nice. It was getting a little bit bumpy and you could play a little bit with the bumps, but it took so long to get that bumpy because they flattened it so much. The first laps pretty much all moto everybody can go fast. That's one thing I did not really like this weekend. They flat so much for the MX2 that it was quite difficult to make a gap.
You have won more at this track than any other rider in MX2, so coming here you must have good feelings, but do you actually like it? I know some guys think it is a little dangerous. Do you enjoy it out there?
It is weird to ride at this track, because it is pretty small. It's not so wide. Just the dirt, like on Saturday in the free practice you really need to get a good feeling with the track. It's not like riding in Lommel. The dirt here is really special, so the most important thing is just to get a good feeling in this track.
Now that you have got a nice cushion on Pauls again, I think you need to finish sixteenth in the first moto in Imola. That is obviously a nice position to be in, because you do not have to put a lot of pressure on yourself. You do not have to win. If Pauls starts getting a bit aggressive and pushes you, you can just back off. You are in a really nice position now. That has got to be comforting.
I would like to end the last race on the top of the box, winning if I can both motos or just winning the overall will be the best. I trained hard all this year so coming to the last race for sure I need to be careful with the points. Like you said, sixteenth is enough in the first moto. I would not go for a sixteenth or a fifteenth. I will just go for the win and for sure be careful with the riding. Do not go over the limit, for sure.
Finally, since I last spoke to you the ‘Nations team was announced. Team Spain as a whole may struggle to get a great result. You can go for glory in MX2 though. How excited are you about that?
My main goal for this season was the world championship, so really ‘Nations is just a race where we go and enjoy with Team Spain. It is a race that if I win or not really does not matter. For sure I will do my best, but it is not like I am going to put everything on it, risk or anything. I will just ride like I did today, just normal, without risk or anything and try to enjoy the race. The track looks fun.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer