Red Bull KTM has announced that last weekend at the MXGP of Germany, defending MX2 champion Jorge Prado signed a contract extension that will keep him on the team and competing in the FIM Motocross World Championship for the next four years, until 2023.
When Prado first turned pro at the end of the 2016 season, there were rumors that the Spanish flyer would eventually move to the U.S., following the pathway of riders like Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin. Further, when he won the MX2 crown last year, it put his 250-class future in jeopardy, as another title this season will force the 18-year-old into the MXGP (450) class for 2020. However, he has found a comfortable home with the De Carli Red Bull KTM squad, and has struck up a relationship with teammate Antonio Cairoli. The news of the extension puts any rumors of a move to the U.S. to rest.
Although Prado missed the second round of the 2019 championship at the MXGP of Great Britain, he has won all of the events he has entered this year, as he has nine total wins on the season. Despite missing a round, he has 44-point lead over Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Thomas Kjer Olsen. If Prado goes on to win the championship this year, he will be forced to move into the MXGP Class.
“KTM have supported me since I started racing and winning my first world title in the 65s,” Prado said. “They offered me a great opportunity for MXGP because if I win this year then I’ll need to be on a 450 and so this all came together very easily. I’m very happy to stay another four years and we’re both excited about it. Since I joined this team and worked with Claudio [De Carli] I’ve really felt that my place was to stay here and learn. He has a lot of experience and I’m sure we’ll make a good pass to the 450s. I have a great team behind me and it is difficult to find a better place than where I am right now.”
Red Bull KTM MXGP team manager Claudio De Carli commented on working with Prado.
“In our sport we can never take anything taken for granted, so it is always satisfying when renewals like this happen and we can continue our journey,” said De Carli. “It is the sign that we are working in the right direction and the continuity in relationships means that the group is solid and close-knit. With Jorge I have had again the chance to help a young rider, which has always been one of my priorities, and I thank KTM for this. In the last two years I can only say that with Jorge we have always worked with the utmost commitment and with a smile, even in difficult times. He is a fantastic boy that deserves all his success.”
Robert Jonas, Vice President of Off-Road for the KTM Group, also acknowledged how deserving Prado is of the new contract extension.
“Jorge has been a KTM rider from the beginning and it has been special and rewarding to watch him develop so fast to reach the top of the sport,” said Jonas. “Full credit must go to Claudio and Davide De Carli, Tony Cairoli and the crew inside the team for the way they have mentored Jorge and helped him unlock that final touch needed to bring the results we all knew he was capable of. Making this new contract was pretty easy because it was something both of us really wanted to happen and we’re excited to see what he can do next.”
Prado will line up behind the gates and go for his tenth win of the season on July 7 for the MXGP of Indonesia.