Jorge Prado of the Red Bull KTM Factory team is really working hard to become a two-time World motocross champion. At the moment all is going well as he continues to win. Below we caught up with him and talked about last weekend and his move to MXGP.
I saw at the end of the first race, you looked really tired. Did that concern you, knowing that you had another race to do?
I felt tired, but it wasn’t something crazy. The problem was the sun was hitting really hard and when you stop and have to start again, you feel really tired, when you crash, you need to come back and it makes it very tiring. I was feeling okay in the second moto, but I just struggled when everyone passed me, and I had to fight back, and I probably used too much energy and that is why I couldn’t get back to first, I think.
It seemed like you were cruising in the first one and maybe riding 70%, because the gap remained similar for a long time, and when Tom did pass you, you were able to catch him easily and pass him.
I was just trying to ride normal and the guy was behind and when I hear the engine coming closer, I go a little harder. I was trying to conserve energy for the second race, but that crash cost a lot of energy because I had to push a lot to get him. I didn’t have much time to do it, but it was good, I am racing good in the heat.
When all those guys were passing you in the second one, what were you thinking at the time?
Honestly, it was something very weird. I was riding good, but then guys started passing me and then I made some mistakes, went off the track two times at the finish line there, some wrong lines in places. I saw the guys in front going away and I told myself to regroup or they are gone. I just kept pushing and started passing riders and I was thinking where can I pass guys? Like Thomas said at the press conference, because of the heat, it was hard to fight. Then I found some good lines and I started passing guys and with five laps to go I got into second and I thought I could catch Thomas, but my energy was finished, and I preferred to stay second than crash. I wanted to play it safe.
Did you have any trouble with getting dizzy or anything like that?
No, not at all, I didn’t want to ride to that level and that is why I didn’t go over my limits.
Is this a race you just want to get out of the way and are happy it has finished?
I honestly can say it was nice racing like this. It is hard, but the trouble only comes in the last five laps, that is when you feel it in the body, completely different from the start of the race. The track is so short, when you have five minutes left, we still have a lot of laps, instead of maybe three laps, we did five.
Did you think about that during the race, that you were going to have to do a lot more laps?
Yes, more or less and also the two pit boards of KTM were next to each other and sometimes I didn’t know which my pit board was. I couldn’t always read the information every time.
How about the whole experience from this race, the hotel, the facility. Did you enjoy that?
Yes, that was great. The temperatures like this, it is incredible you can go directly to you pool or your hotel room.
Did you go to the pool throughout the day?
Yes, I watched all the MXGP races from the pool.
How crazy is that, a once in a lifetime thing to do.
Yes, it is crazy, and you can’t think it would happen anywhere else in the World. You can’t get a World championship track with a pool.
Do you need to do something different after a really warm race like this one. I mean preparing for next weekend.
No, nothing different, just training and getting ready for the next one. You need to recover a little bit. We will keep training and we don’t have a bike here so we will just do physical training. I am not happy with that second moto, so we need to improve some things for Semarang.
You go to Bali this year?
Yes, last year I stayed in Semarang and this year we go to Bali, because we can do that and we don’t have much time after the season to go on holidays and we want to see different places and we should enjoy these opportunities and we go with all my family.
It is clear you are a level above everyone else and you have those races here you are just cruising to a win. Maybe not pushing 100%, how strong does that work on your mind.
You know, once I get out of the gate, I don’t feel like the difference is that big. I still have to push, and nothing comes easy. You see the first moto and I crashed and was second and I had to push hard to get him. In MXGP you can’t afford to make mistakes.
Just a little about the move to MXGP in 2020. Tell me about that decision and what you expect?
Right now, we are focused on the MX2 title. We need to progress and see what happens. I hope we get the title. The rules state I need to move to MXGP if I win the second MX2 title, so that is the rule. I don’t have any choice. It will be a tough year, the 450 I haven’t ridden before.
One lap you told me last month.
Yes, but it wasn’t my own bike and you really need to get fitter and you need a strong bike and you need to bike well prepared for your style. I will need to get used to the bike and maybe change the riding style. Hopefully it will be good, but we will see.
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