Jorge Prado won the Grand Prix of France and strengthened his advantage, but his path to the overall win was rather surprising. Prado got beaten straight up for the first time this term in the opening encounter and confirmed that he is indeed beatable. Did that hurt his mood following the round? The defeat and Grand Prix win were discussed in length in this exclusive MX Vice interview from St. Jean d'Angely.
MX Vice: You won the overall, but you got beaten in the moto and that is probably the weirdest thing I've seen in a while. You got pushed hard today. A bit different, so just sum it all up.
Jorge Prado: Yeah. It's quite difficult to win every single moto of the year. I won until now every single race I raced. That is not the most important. We came out safe and with the overall, getting more points. It was a hard weekend, I would say, a hard Sunday. In the first moto I got off first in the start and then I was feeling good all moto, honestly, then two laps to go after the finish line I chose the wrong rut, so I could not make up so much speed. I just went in the outside, but the problem came before.
I think I didn't push enough at the end of the moto. I kind of relaxed myself. I still had energy. It was just a racing mistake. I was not happy about that first moto. Riding was okay, was decent, but that mistake shouldn't happen. In the second moto I was first out of the start and finished first. Jago [Geerts] was there pushing hard again all moto, but then I think seven minutes to go I kind of put again a couple of good laps, made a gap, and then I think he made a mistake or something. I don't know. I just controlled the last three laps a lot. They came very close, but the important thing is that I got the overall.
When you were leading that first moto and your mechanic was putting your gap on the board, were you looking at it not going up like, "What the hell? What is happening?"
No. I was like, "Okay. If he is there, we will see if he continues over there." I knew he was still there, but it was just my mistake. I was not the slowest out there, so I would say it was just a rhythm mistake. I just messed it up myself. When the lap times came up a bit, I did not push enough. That is all.
It is one of those weird things as well where you are leading from the front and someone is catching you, but you have no idea what he is doing differently or anything. You were out front all weekend, so you had no clue what lines other people were using and what was out there to make passes.
Yeah, but the good thing is that nobody was catching me. We were riding the same pace. In some places I was losing quite a lot, but I had a good rhythm. I was focused on my riding and everything was going well. Just two laps to go he came around, then I pushed very hard on the last lap. I thought I could make the pass in the last corner, so with two corners to go I came to the first rut so hard and then at the end of the rut I just kind of lost my balance to the other side and messed it up. It was a good fight.
When you got beat in the qualifying race at Agueda last week, we said afterwards that it was positive in a way as it kept you on your toes. I feel today was the same thing. This is new motivation, in a way.
Yeah, true. For sure it is new motivation and it gives me that extra motivation as well to go training and give my best. I have been doing it always, but this is a bit extra right now. I see them coming, just this race, and I see that I can improve. I saw I could improve before too, but now it is, like you said, extra motivation.
Like you said last week, you like the red plate. That is a good thing to have. You have got a bit of a tighter grip on it now as well, so that is good…
Yeah. I don't know how many points we are…
Fifteen, I think.
Fifteen is good. It is better than three or four. It was good. I have a gap of points where I can play a little bit if I need, but we will try to keep improving.
Last thing and something that I asked Tony [Cairoli] last week. Everything is going amazing for you at the moment. It does not look like anything is wrong with you, the bike or anything. You could say you are perfect. Is there one thing that you know that you need to fix or want to fix? Maybe it is not a problem, but just something you want to work on a little bit?
We kind of work in a lot of areas. I think we can improve myself always. The rider can always improve. For sure the bike we can make small steps. It is already in a good level. Step-by-step, we will start improving small things and get even better.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX