From dream to reality: Jorge Prado's journey to the MXGP throne. How he won his first 450 championship and how he got there.
As a young boy Jorge Prado had a dream while on his 65cc motorcycle to make motocross history as the first Spanish MXGP World Champion – this encapsulates Jorge Prado’s extraordinary journey. Years ago, Jorge Prado voiced a simple wish: “My goal is to become world champion.” Yesterday, he realised that dream.
Jorge Prado etched his name in the history books to become the first Spanish champion in the premier class of motocross (MXGP) at the penultimate Grand Prix of the 2023 season in Maggiora, Italy.
A first race victory coupled with a mechanical-related DNF for his main title rival, Romain Febvre of France, was enough to hand the 22-year-old the MXGP crown for the first time.
A sixth place finish in the second moto handed Prado second overall for the Grand Prix and he was awarded the MXGP World Championship title on the podium.
“I didn’t realise I was champion until I saw everyone waiting for me on the track, because when I crossed the finish line I was happy to win the race, but I hadn’t seen the scoreboard or done the math,” said the Spanish history maker. “I was very focused on the race and didn’t know it, but when I saw all the people I couldn’t believe it.
“It’s a dream. I started to cry; it’s difficult to wrap my head around the fact that I’m a world champion. It’s what I’ve been pursuing my whole life. The first people I thought of were my family and the team.”
This win adds to the two titles he won in MX2 (2018 and 2019), along with a growing collection of records for a rider who has never stopped growing in his sport to achieve his dream.
As he takes his victory lap around Maggiora’s famed track, we trace the tire marks of his rise, from the muddy tracks of Lugo to the summit of the motocross world.
• 2011: At just 10 years old, he became the European and world champion in the 65cc category. Later that year, in a pivotal move for Jorge’s career, his family relocated from their hometown of Lugo in Spain, to Lommel, Belgium, a place many regard as the European cathedral of motocross.
• 2015: By 14, Prado clinched the title of European champion in the 125cc category, becoming the youngest rider to do so.
• 2016: Prado debuted in the World Championship, marking his entry at the Dutch Grand Prix. During the second race, he secured his first podium finish, placing second after a fierce duel with the category’s top contender, Jeffrey Herlings.
• 2017: Prado celebrated his inaugural World Championship victory, earning two podium spots at the Italian Grand Prix (placing second and then first).
• 2018: It was Prado’s breakthrough year in the MX2 World Championship. He dominated 17 races and seized his first category title at the Italian Grand Prix in Imola.
• 2019: Prado maintained his hold over the MX2 World Championship, losing just five races throughout the year. However, a training mishap late in the year led to a severe femur fracture. Despite this setback, he was prepared and fit for the inaugural race the subsequent year.
• 2020: Jorge transitioned to the premier class. In his rookie season, he was victorious in five races, two of which were at the Spanish Grand Prix. But tragedy struck in June when a training accident resulted in a broken collarbone.
• 2022: Prado underwent a brand transformation, moving from KTM to GasGas. As part of this change, he joined the KTM Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing team. That year, he delivered his best overall performance yet, securing third place.
• 2023: Jorge accomplished a significant milestone: he clinched his first MXGP World Championship title, making history as the first Spaniard to do so.