|MX Vice Podcasts: MXGP of Portugal|
Peruse the results from the sixth round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship and it looks like it was business as usual for Jorge Prado, as he romped to a clean sweep. It was much closer than normal though, especially in the qualifying race on Saturday where Henry Jacobi gave him all he could handle. Was Prado ever concerned that he would not be able to stand atop the box? That is assessed in this exclusive MX Vice interview.
MX Vice: Another 1-1. You have done that a lot, but it was not the most dominant weekend. Run through everything that happened and how you felt.
Jorge Prado: It was a great weekend. Saturday I felt good. It was fun battling with these guys, because normally sometimes I get the start and I kind of pull away a little bit. This Saturday was kind of different. I had to battle with them. It was good, because I am not used to it so it was good to get some experience. Today I already felt good in the warm up. I decided to put a good lap in and got the best time already in the warm up. I was feeling good. In the first moto I got a perfect start and started pulling away. That first moto kind of came, I would not say easy, but I had a good pace. Everything was flowing. I did not use so much energy, but that second moto was tough.
I got the holeshot and then in the first downhill, in the double line, I just went in the inside and it was full of mud, so I got stuck and [Mitchell] Evans went completely outside and passed me. I was like, "Whoa, who is this guy going around the outside? It is a Honda guy? It's Evans!" He was pushing a lot. I did not expect him to go like that. He is a really good rider, but he was riding very well. From the back it was cool. I was like, "I need to pass this guy quick," because I saw the guys behind. I was like, "No. I need to get two moto wins here and get that red plate." I made the move and I made a couple of mistakes, but I found again a good rhythm.
We were riding very fast, pushing a lot every lap and the whole race. It was quite intense all the time. I am pretty fit so I could handle it until the end. These guys in the back, five minutes to go they kind of were a bit over the fight. I had that breathing room in the last three laps. I decided to cruise a little bit and take home the win. That is important. I am so happy to get back the red plate. I feel more relaxed. Every weekend I was worried. I was like, "No, I need to get it, I need to get it." Now that I have got it, it is more like, "Good. Cool. Let's move forward."
Going back to the qualifying race yesterday, you must have been frustrated. You were staring at the back of [Henry] Jacobi's jersey for the entire time and in the last corner I think you tried to square him off, like, nine laps in a row and it just was not happening.
No, but I was enjoying it. I was eating a lot of stones and stuff. This I did not like, but I was enjoying quite a nice fight. He was pushing a lot. I was doing my job too. I learned a lot, too, as I passed him and he passed me back two times. I was like, "I think I need to improve some things." We will get there. It was a cool qualifying race.
Do you think everyone was closer to you this weekend, because the track was quite smooth and not the most technical?
From previous years, this track is one of those tracks that kind of you need to push every lap. You cannot relax. You need to push every single lap and be consistent to make that gap. We were pushing. Everybody was pushing. It is a track that to make a difference it is tough. I would say it was quite a difficult track. That second moto they put a lot of water. Probably the first laps is where you can really get that gap. The track is challenging, but after it gets dry it looks like it is difficult to get away. It was a fun track. Maybe last year was a bit easier with all the ruts. I enjoyed maybe a little bit more, because more my style, but this year I had to push this weekend.
In warm up this morning you went out and set the fastest time, like you said, so at that point I was kind of like, "Okay, he is good. He is going to be normal today." Did you make any big bike changes overnight?
No. Zero. We do not like to change when things are going good. We do not need to change. On Saturday it was good, so no need. We have a good bike set-up for all season. We focus more on myself and myself was already good yesterday. Just put everything together. Good start. That was important for me and maintaining it until the end of the race.
Every year we have come here, after the waves you have done this sick corner jump down the hill. Did you pull it again this weekend?
I am getting old. I do not do so crazy stuff [laughs]. I am joking. I saw it, but every year I come here and I make track walk on Friday. I say, "It is more difficult. It is the same." I still think it is possible because I did it, but once I am on the bike I am like, "Why risk?" Maybe two years ago I liked more the risk, but now I am in one position that I am like, "Do I really need to make it?" I am like, "No. I do not make it anymore." It is alright to get fast in other places and compensate the time.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX