JORGE PRADO – FOUR IN A ROW

When Red Bull GasGas factory rider Jorge Prado failed to win the Saturday qualification race at round one of the 2024 MXGP championship in Argentina, it was something of a surprise, as he had owned the qualification races throughout a lot of the 2023 championship winning season.

Last weekend, his Saturday disappointment hit an all time low as he lost his seat, while running second in the qualifier, had to pit for a new seat and then finished way down in 17th place.

So, with a horrible start gate for Sunday and then a third-place finish in the opening MXGP race, it looked like maybe, Romain Febvre and Tim Gajser had unlocked the door to beat the Spaniard. Wrong, Prado went into the second race of the Sunday and was quick to tell his mechanic on the start line, about his intentions, and his intentions was to win.

“I told my mechanic I was going to win the second one,” Prado said. “I went to the gate saying that to myself and I was able to do that. I felt I could win, and it is something you just feel, and I felt it going into that race. I had a perfect start and coming into the first corner, I went on the inside and that was exactly what I thought before the start. Then I thought, okay, I just have 30 minutes to make it happen and stay focused. They were putting pressure, and I could hold and hold, and I made it happen.”

No doubt in the form of his life, Prado won his fourth Grand Prix in a row, something he hadn’t come close to doing in his previous seasons on the 450 machine. Confidence sky high, and momentum on his side, its going to be tough for his competition to stop Prado this year and he knows it.

“I think I am at my best right. I have never won four in a row in the 450 class, not even two in a row. I am just feeling very good, and I feel I am making the difference and physically I am in really good shape, and I feel I can turn any situation around. Today I was really not feeling good with the track and felt it was very dangerous. I just had to go through it with my fitness and push.”

When victory comes and you are not feeling comfortable about the circuit you are racing and you have the type of bad luck Prado had on Saturday, that shows a man who is very much in control of his destiny.

“I didn’t feel good on this track, the bike was losing grip everywhere and it was kicking around. I was just not one with the bike and I know this track doesn’t allow you to be super smooth, not like in Spain, where you could play with the ruts. Here you have to be tight and so slippery, and I finished P3 and that was enough to win the GP.”

While conditions didn’t suit Prado, his mental edge over his rivals is obvious and he isn’t backing down on his momentum and victory run. The Red Bull GasGas rider is heading to Portugal in two weeks with only victory on his mind.

“Mentally I am really doing well, but I still keep my feet on the ground and I work every day and I still have that margin to improve and I wake up every day with that in mind and working hard and being first motivated me even more, because it makes me happy for the work I am doing and tonight I will sleep really well knowing I am giving it 100% and doing it on the track. Winning just makes me work even harder.”

So, unbeaten until now and going to a circuit he has won at on three occasions in the past. One of the most successful riders around the Agueda circuit and in all-time best form, would anybody bet against him in round five of the 2024 MXGP championship?

Photo Credit: GASGAS

Author: 
Geoff Meyer

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