Jorge Prado will be one of the greatest stories to follow at the upcoming Motocross of Nations. Prado will race a 450 for the first time and get tongues wagging ahead of his full-time debut next season, but how is his progress aboard the bigger bike going? Last week marked the first time that he has properly ridden the 450 and the MX Vice Italian correspondent, Lorenzo Resta, caught up with him to discuss his first impressions.
MX Vice: Last week you had your first ride on a 450. It was not the best, but it was your first chance to find a good set-up or to set the bike up for yourself. What were your first impressions?
Jorge Prado: It was my first day on the 450. It was quite a nice day. We rode quite a lot. We didn't ride too long every time we would go out to the track, just to get the feeling with the bike and try very small things to make a good base. Just so we can start riding the big bike. I was feeling quite okay. We were improving every time I go out. I feel more comfortable on it.
It's a bike that I expected to be more difficult to ride but in the end the KTM guys did a great job. The engine is powerful, but at the same time you can handle it very well. I'm very happy with how everything is going, but we just need to slowly build up the confidence on this bike and for sure the speed.
There is not much time. We will be Turkey and then go straight onto Shanghai, then we have a week before we go to Assen for the ‘Nations. Do you think that you will have enough time to test and be ready for that race in the deep sand?
I hope so. It's for sure not going to be a lot of time for riding the 450 and to get used to it, but I will try to do my best. I've been training just to get the most comfortable on the bike and the most feeling so I can go to Assen and ride comfortable. That's the main goal to go there and just have a good feeling with the bike. That's very important, to not make any mistakes and slowly build up the confidence. Hopefully we can do a good race over there.
It is difficult to imagine Spain making a podium or something like that. You are the best rider on the team, but the team itself is not the strongest. Could not having the responsibility of taking the team onto the podium make your race a bit easier there?
Well, there is always a bit of pressure because for sure I want to do good individually but also for Spain. We will try to do our best to qualify in the best position possible for Sunday and then Sunday we will see. For sure it's not going to be easy for us, but my other teammates will fight and fight until the end. That's something that I will do as well. We just need to try to do our best in the deep sand.
You will race against Jeffrey [Herlings] again at the Motocross of Nations, this time on exactly the same bike. Are you expecting to deal with him for a good result?
Hopefully if I can deal with him it's because I have a good start. Hopefully I can get a good start! That's very important on a track like Assen and for sure in my first race with the 450 a good start will be very positive. Jeffrey as you can see, he's still pushing a lot even he comes from an injury. He won the qualifying race the other day! You can see that he's probably not one hundred percent but pretty good already. I'm just learning and progressing. Not really expectations for any result in Assen.
Interview: Lorenzo Resta | Lead Image: Ray Archer