Jorge Prado has clinched the MX2 world title. It is a tad premature, as most expected the celebrations to be delayed until the end of moto one at Imola, but he cannot be caught now that Pauls Jonass is sat on the sidelines. It is an odd way for him to take his maiden championship, but the important thing is that the job is done.
The Grand Prix of Italy will still follow the same schedule that it would have, as he will celebrate when he hits the chequered flag at the end of the first race and be met by friends and family in celebratory t-shirts. It will be a little anticlimactic, as every person present will know that the title fight was settled a couple of days ago. It is not like the injury that Pauls Jonass sustained should change the way that onlookers view this duel, however, as Jorge Prado has been the best guy since round four and dominated a lot of the time. The statistics speak for themselves and he is undoubtedly a deserving champion. Jonass would even admit that!
The MX2 fight is not going to engage fans now, but there are still a handful of important points to keep an eye on. Jordi Tixier will return to racing and complete his third Grand Prix of the season, so that is going to be intriguing. Tixier would go unnoticed, but this is going to be a good way to gauge where he is at heading into the Motocross of Nations next weekend. Expect there to be plenty of discussion about his results and if they are subpar then his supporters may want to duck for cover. The Grand Prix of Italy will also be his debut with VHR KTM, a small French squad that he will ride for from this point on. The deal is effectively going to run for the next twelve months.
The track, which is new to the FIM Motocross World Championship, will be the biggest star at the weekend. There is always a lot of intrigue when the Grand Prix contingent travel to a new man-made facility, as most do not know what to expect. Imola does not feature sand, so will be completely different to Assen, and will therefore be unlike anything else on the calendar. There is a rather important point to bear in mind though. Most are eager to determine whether a circuit is good or not after checking out photos before the race has even started and that is often not fair. One should not judge a book by its cover, as the old saying goes.
Frauenfeld-Gachnang is a good example of that. When the Grand Prix of Switzerland landed on the calendar for the first time three years ago, initial images of the circuit were fairly unattractive. It has ended up being one of the best stops on the schedule though and one that most look forward to. It is impossible to predict how something is going to work out before an event has taken place, which is a part of the fun. It will be most intriguing to see how the conditions develop and who will shine on the all-new track that will suit some guys more than others. It seems like a good idea to reconvene on Monday to analyse the way that the inaugural race at Imola went.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX