WHEN you are just 20-years old and already a three-time world champion in your sport, having to take a year off is a nightmare.
This is what has happened to Spanish motocross rider Jorge Prado who has been unable to compete in any races since the lockdown.
Considered by many as the motocross equivalent to Lewis Hamilton, having started riding at the age of three, Jorge was very modest when speaking exclusively to Euro Weekly News about the comparison, saying “I can see why people say that, but I only hope that I can be a successful as Lewis over a long period of time.”
Motocross is a form of off-road motorcycle racing held on enclosed off-road circuits. The sport evolved from motorcycle trials competitions held in the United Kingdom as early as 1909 but its competitive home is now Belgium.
Jorge was born in Galicia and was so impressed by his father’s love for motor cycles that he just wanted to learn to ride himself and his wish was granted when he was presented with his own miniature bike at the age of three and since then he has found incredible success in his sport.
As he grew, so did his bikes and eventually the family moved to Belgium to be close to the main practice tracks and the top competitors and teams.
Since that time, Jorge has done pretty well with an incredible record of growth and success;
European and World Champion at 65cc in 2011 at the age of 10 years and eight months.
European Champion at125 cc, in 2015 at the age of fourteen being the youngest champion ever in the category.
In 2018, he became MX2 motocross world champion at the age of 17 and repeated that achievement the following year aged 18.
Whilst he liked Belgium, he found it a little difficult to adjust to living in a colder climate with a less relaxed style when compared to Spain but he was quickly signed up by the KTM/Red Bull team with whom he is contracted until 2023 even though he was their youngest ever rider.
From Belgium, his family moved to Rome with its more Latin way of life but when asked whether he drives in Italy’s busy city, he smiled and shook his head, explaining that was too ambitious even for him.
The last year has seen Jorge in training, getting fitter and mastering his riding techniques ready for the first race of 2021 which he hopes will be in June and which should then take him off around the world.
With regards to whether he enjoyed so much travel he said “It is very intense with no time to go sight-seeing and with the pandemic, I know it’s going to be even tougher with the need to obey all of the rules of hygiene and distancing.”
When we spoke, he was enjoying a one week stay in Galicia at his grandparents’ house so that he could get to see them and other relatives as well as sponsors since motocross is so popular in the region that every race is broadcast live on regional TV.
Many footballers have their favourite shirt number and Jorge is no different as at an early age he was given 61 in a race that he won and so from then on, he has kept what he considers to be his lucky number.
Summing up has life to date, the very humble young world champion said “Motocross is my life, it’s what I love, I’ve been doing this for many years and I couldn’t do any other sport.”
It’s a daring, high speed adventure and this young man who speaks Spanish, English and Dutch will be doing his best to stay at the top of this exciting sport for years to come.
Watch behind the scenes of Jorge Prado’s rollercoaster 2020 season in MX World: The KTM Diaries S3E4 on Red Bull Motorsport YouTube. The full docuseries starring Prado’s teammates Tony Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings and more, is available to watch in full on Red Bull TV.