Jorge Prado dominated the Grand Prix of Lombardia over the weekend, which is hardly surprising. It seems as though he will reign supreme no matter the conditions. Most would agree with that and one would think that Prado would radiate confidence, bearing that in mind, but it was intriguing to learn that the daunting Mantova circuit left him feeling a tad nervous before his first moto. There are more interesting titbits in the exclusive MX Vice interview below.
MX Vice: The conditions made it a bit interesting today. It could have gone wrong, but once again it went right. Another 1-1. Another perfect day.
Jorge Prado: Yeah, like you said. I woke up this morning. I saw it was raining. We knew already from yesterday that it could rain, and it rained all day long. Last night was wide open. I woke up and the first thing that came to my mind was that today could be a lottery. The start was the key for everything. If you got a good start and you stayed on two wheels… Staying on two wheels was so tough this weekend, with all the ruts in the landings, because you just land in the ruts and you could lose balance very easily.
The main thing was to get a good start. I was really focused on that. I could get two good starts and stay on two wheels. It was a tough day, because concentration was also a big part of the race. It was tough to keep the concentration for thirty-five minutes with all of the ruts, bumps, and small mistakes that you make during a lap. It was a great weekend.
Did you have any big moments out there? There was only one I saw, which was alongside pit lane. You almost fell off the side of the track. Was there anything else?
There was that one. I think it was in lap two or lap three when I passed Tom [Vialle], then with three laps to go I crashed in the second moto. I had around sixteen or seventeen seconds to second, but I was feeling good and I thought I could get a bit of a wave. I was doing the waves pretty good all moto and came out in the last one and my back went sideways.
I just could not hold it, so I crashed and got up pretty quick. The bike started immediately. I could hardly jump the next one. It was three laps to go and I was like, “Do not lose it now! It is just done!" I did it for thirty minutes. It was good. I had that gap. Now next race I know it is better to have a small gap, just in case for the last laps.
That sounds like a gnarly crash. Was it bad?
No, it was not bad. Otherwise I would not have finished the race like I did. The bike just went sideways and I kind of slid, so that was good. Took the bike. Nothing damaged. Not even the levers got damaged. Just the gloves were very dirty, so on the last two laps my right hand was kind of slipping. It was good.
What did you think of the conditions this weekend? Obviously, if this was a hard-pack track it could have been like Indonesia two years ago, but with it being sand it was not so heavy. It was just like one-lined, technical and had deep ruts.
It has been one-lined since yesterday. I raced here for the International Italia and it also rained. It was bad, but we had some different lines. Yesterday… I do not know. Really did not like the changes they made. They took out many berms. Really one-lined track. When I raced here for the international it was totally different. Many ruts and deep ruts. It was winter, but anyway you had different options. This weekend I felt that you could not really pass anywhere.
Just the preparation. Some corners they made so tight, so there was not so much flow out there. For the riders, I do not think any rider really enjoyed the track on Saturday. Today was just a different story, because with all of the rain enjoying it was tough. I enjoyed, for example, second moto. It was coming a bit drier. The ruts were going better, but the track was quite gnarly. The ruts were so long and with so many bumps. It was tough.
Speaking of the track and options, did you consider using the Goggle Lane at all today? You were out front, obviously, but did you have a plan for that?
Yeah, sure. The Goggle Lane is great. You can get there, change your goggles fast and get back to racing quick. It is a great system that they built this year. I am very happy that riders can have this kind of line to change the goggle and it is safe. You are not in the middle of the track, or in the pits between mechanics, so it is clear. You can get in and out fast.
Compare this to last season and describe the feeling that you have sat on the line or in the race. You won a lot of races last year, especially towards the end, and you are doing the same this year, but it seems like it is all coming a lot easier to you. Do you just feel more relaxed on every lap or on the start line? Does it feel easier?
Not at all. Actually, this weekend I was quite, not nervous, but I knew the start was important. I wanted to do good. Last year I did quite good in mud races, but two years ago I struggled a lot in the mud. Some kind of things came to my mind like that, so I was like, “It will be a tough one." I felt good though. I improved so much in the last two years that now I feel comfortable in every condition.
Like I said, the start was the key of the race and clean laps. I was still quite nervous this weekend just to do a good race, because it is difficult. It is difficult on a track like this. You can choose any line to pass, otherwise you go through the mud or through the water. You get sideways. It is dangerous. This year I also made a step from last year. We are training very hard with Tony [Cairoli]. We are getting to make steps every week.
One more good thing is you are only seven points down on the red plate now, so that has happened quite quickly considering where you were a month ago.
Yeah. Coming to this round with twenty points behind, got thirteen, now seven from the lead. Very happy about that. Hopefully in Portugal I can do two good races, keeping it safe and on two wheels. The season is long. Hopefully we can get the red plate as soon as possible, because I feel better with the red plate [laughs].
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX