Sunday, April 14, 2024

Good, Bad and Ugly | 2024 Anaheim 2

by Chandler
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This column can be difficult to construct from one week to the next, because it requires a spotlight to be placed on negative points that occurred. Everything that took place at the fourth round of 2024’s Monster Energy Supercross was fairly encouraging. There were riders like Ken Roczen and Jo Shimoda who vacated the venue with a disappointing ranking, but nothing that constitutes being placed beneath the pessimistic titles at the bottom of this feature.

Instead, adopting a different approach, embrace a period of reflection on Jorge Prado’s excursion. There are a lot of people who would consider it an obvious success based on the fact that he remained healthy. There have been some naysayers, as is par for the course, so share opinions and whatnot in the comments below. Normal service will be resumed after Detroit, round one of 250SX East. There will undoubtedly be a few riders who are perplexed and stunned when the checkered flag flies there.

GOOD

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Octopi Media

There is no doubt that Jorge Prado’s American adventure was an absolute success. The results could have been better – that is the case with most athletes – but it was important to temper expectations. It is true that the fanfare reached astronomic levels in the weeks prior to Anaheim 1, even though it was unrealistic to think that he would be close to the podium. Prado said it best following his final race: “It was nice to battle and get roosted. What can I say? It was a good experience. I am happy. It was good learning. I will bring this intensity into MXGP and we will be good.

“I leave tomorrow [28 January] – I will get to Rome, then I will go to Sardinia the next day,” Prado told Vital MX in an exclusive discussion. “I need to ride my motocross bike and test. We will have the Spanish Championship at my own track. I want to race there before Argentina, which is just around the corner. I am not stressed. I think that I had good training here. I got… How can I tell you? I got smoked [laughs] and I loved it! I loved it because that puts your feet back on the ground. I expected it. Inside of me, I expected to be in the position that I was. I had big courage to come over.”

One could argue that Prado was equal to, if not better than, Hunter Lawrence across four rounds. Consider the level that ’96’ operated at in Paris in November and that is quite the encouragement for those in his camp. The crucial point that can be extracted from the experience is that there is room for growth – that would be the reason why a handful of manufacturers have contacted him about his services for the 2025 Monster Energy Supercross season.

BAD

Photo
Octopi Media

In conversations with Prado, on and off record, he has expressed little unease about the fact that he has missed vital testing time. The FIM Motocross World Championship is 39 days away and the artist formerly known as ‘111’ has not spun a lap on a motocross track yet. Is that a concern? There is no doubt that his competitors smell blood in the water but, in the opinion of this scribe, he was never feared by riders like Jeffrey Herlings and Romain Febvre.

Prado’s modus operandi has never been all-out speed – consistency is his greatest attribute. There is no reason to think that his supercross experience would harm that. In fact, it should boost his raw pace and intensity. Prado has mentioned that Monster Energy Supercross has also helped him practice passing. It could be recency bias or even him talking things into existence, almost trying to convince himself, but he seems adamant that this will only aid him in his quest to defend his MXGP crown.

UGLY

There was an obvious concern that Prado would succumb to a health issue in his foray in Monster Energy Supercross – that would have made this an expensive vacation for all involved. It is incredible that he did not have a ‘scare’ in competition. Now, admittedly, the slower pace at rounds two and three eliminated a lot of risk and would have lowered the heart rate of those at the Pierer Mobility Group. Anything can (and often will) happen in racing though, so it is quite the relief that he has landed in Rome in one piece.

This post was originally published on this site

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