#ValenciaGP: NTS RW Racing GP underlines its good progression
The team’s riders Joe Roberts and Steven Odendaal put in determined performances during Saturday afternoon’s last qualifying of the year to claim starting position in seventh and eighth row respectively.
After Friday’s adverse weather conditions, teams and riders were welcomed at the stadium-like Valencia circuit by some sunshine this morning although a brief rain shower hit the track earlier this morning again. Therefore, the third free practice was again a wet session before the situation improved significantly for this afternoon’s all-important qualifying.
This 45-minutes long session for the time attack, however, was the first on an almost dry track this weekend. This was why it was difficult to set up the bikes for the changed conditions which particularly affected Steven Odendaal’s first outing due to a bit too soft setting. But the ambitious South African rider fought back bravely to put in his best effort in the very last minute whereas Joe Roberts played his role in the midfield, however, failing to qualify more toward the front by just a whisker in what was again such a hard-fought competition today.
#4 Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP, NTS), Grid position P22 – 2´36.819 (24/24):
“Obvious, it wasn’t a bad qualifying today for us even though we started with a bit too harder setting. Therefore, I hadn’t the best feeling in the beginning so, we came in and changed it to a softer one and then, to be honest, I gave it a good go though, let’s see what we can do from P22 on the starting grid. Beyond that, I think tomorrow it will be completely wet again so this changes all prerequisites for the race either.”
#16 Joe ROBERTS (NTS RW Racing GP, NTS), Grid position P19 – 1´36.656 (20/24):
“Honestly, I’m quite happy with today considering as we didn’t have one single session in the dry before going into qualifying. So, to do a 36.6 around here in mixed conditions is a really great job. Unfortunately, we ended up only two tenth off from the top ten so, this shows again how tight the competition is in this class. Apart from that, I was hoping to can line up a really perfect lap, but I didn’t quite get it in the end. Anyways, tomorrow is going to be wet again. But we know that we’ve a good pace in the wet so, let’s battle to the front.”
Jarno JANSSEN (Team manager):
“First, we want to say thank you Joe and thank you Steven for delivering a really solid qualifying. Especially Joe did a really good job being so close to the top 15 with one tenth missing out a starting position within the first five rows. So, this is a good point for him for tomorrow’s race. Also, Steven managed to pull out a decent lap towards the end of the session which brings him to P22 on the starting grid. With these starting positions shows our progression of the last couple of races. Tomorrow, it looks like it’s going to be a completely new day with different conditions than today. But we’ve also proven that we can be very strong in wet conditions. So, let’s hope that our both riders will manage it to keep the bike between white lines and make a good race.”
#ValenciaGP Moto2™ – Qualifying Classification:
1 Luca MARINI / ITA / SKY Racing Team VR46 / KALEX / 1´35.777
2 Xavi VIERGE / SPA / Dynavolt Intact GP / KALEX / 1´35.804 +0.027
3 Marcel SCHRÖTTER / GER / Dynavolt Intact GP / KALEX / 1´35.945 +0.168
19 #16 Joe ROBERTS / USA / NTS RW Racing GP / NTS / 1´36.656 +0.879
22 #4 Steven ODENDAAL / RSA / NTS RW Racing GP / NTS / 1´36.819 +1.042