Red Bull KTM Factory rider Jorge Prado continues his brilliant season, winning the Grand Prix of Latvia, and extending his championship points lead over Thomas Olsen. Prado had something of an effortless day, and we caught up to him after his win.
Why do you think you have never won here before?
Last year I made two mistakes in the first lap and that cost me the first moto. I was riding well. I won the qualification race and the second moto, but that is why I didn’t get the podium. This year I put everything together, no mistakes and I just put everything together. It wasn’t easy, but I got it.
I would imagine with this track, and your style, this is one of the good tracks for you?
Well, the track was flat today, so easy for everyone. Maybe if it was rougher, maybe I could have gotten a bigger gap, but I managed to get the flow and had some good lines. It is a bit sandy, so that is good for me.
When will you let some other guys get the win or be able to race with you?
Well, I think I in Russia I made some good racing, starting outside the top 15 and back to first. That was a good one, because everyone was saying maybe if I don’t get the holeshot I can’t win, so I showed that I can do that too. Starts are important, bit it isn’t easy to do what I keep doing. Every weekend is not easy.
When you talk about it not being easy, I spoke to Jeffrey Herlings last week and he mentioned how he sometimes had trouble sleeping last year when he was winning all the races. Now you are in the same situation. How is that for you?
No, as you could see in the first moto in France, Jago passed me and won, and I felt I wasn’t pushing enough in that moto. I didn’t let him pass, he just passed me and had a good line. The thing is, I wasn’t pushing enough. I got back to work, kept training like I do, and I think I stepped it up and I keep progressing.
I know when Roan (Van De Moosdijk) was talking about going from 40 points down in the EMX250 championship to seven points down in the press conference you showed a lot of respect with your facial expression. It isn’t so long ago you were also an EMX rider. Tell me about your thoughts when he mentioned that?
He did a great job, from 40 to seven in a short time, because they don’t have so many rounds. I experienced that last year and also this year. Well, last year I had to come back from a big gap from me and Jonass and again this year with Olsen. It isn’t always easy fighting for points. I also remember my first year in EMX250 and that year I also raced my first Grand Prix.
It is obviously a terrible day with Antonio and Jeffrey getting injured. It makes everyone feel shitty. Does it make winning more difficult, or difficult to celebrate it?
No, it doesn’t make it more difficult, because I am proud of what I did, but at the same time, for the team, it is sad to see two of the best riders from the team. I mean, first respect for Jeffrey, because he rode that first moto with a broken ankle, so big respect, it is incredible. Also, Tony getting his shoulder out. I was there quickly, because the doctor tent is close to the KTM team area. I was with him and he told me his shoulder was out. I was really sad for him, because I could feel his pain. 20 minutes later everyone came, his wife, the team, and after 45 minutes his shoulder was still out. I hope he feels better now. He was laying there, and nobody was doing anything.
I know it is early because you still are not that far ahead in the championship, but if you win you will either go 450 in MXGP or something else. Is there any chance you might ride a round of the MXGP class if you win the championship early?
I haven’t even ridden a 450, never tried it, so it would be difficult to race on one.
You train with Antonio all the time, and you have never ridden his bike?
Yes, maybe one or two laps, but that isn’t enough. I can’t get on a bike I never rode, with the suspension and everything. It is a totally different type of bike, so we would need to get everything ready, and then maybe race the 450, or whatever.
You and Antonio train a lot. Do you have days where you are quicker than him?
We train together 99% of the time, no, 100%, every day, so, I cannot beat him.
You are not even faster maybe on a smaller track, a tight track?
I get close sometimes. Maybe I can do one lap faster, but then he maybe tries harder. I push him, but he has that extra. He is a nine-time World champion, we are not talking about an amateur guy. So, it isn’t easy to beat Tony.
Okay, last question. Is MXGP your goal in 2020?
We need to see how this year goes, and then see the situation with everything. I still don’t know anything.
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