#ValenciaGP: Tears and happiness in the last race of 2018
NTS RW Racing GP closed its debut season in style even if Joe Roberts couldn’t set the next milestone for them though, Steven Odendaal was there to round up a difficult weekend with more points for the still young project based on the Japanese manufactured Moto2™ machine.
As forecasted, the rain came back for Sunday in Valencia causing tremendous conditions during the race. But fearless Joe Roberts put in an outstanding display, storming that determined through the pack to see himself battling for a possible top five place until he was victim of the track’s slippery conditions.
Steven Odendaal, meanwhile, proved as a true racer too overcoming bravely a difficult weekend for him with a solid ride to 13th place at the line, taking three points for the ambitious Japanese and Dutch collaboration at the end of their debut year.
Today’s race, however, marks the farewell between the team and Los Angeles native Joe Roberts. All members wish him the best for his future challenge.
#4 Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP, NTS), 13th:
“Honestly, I’m happy because it was a good race as I managed to salvage some points after what such a difficult weekend for me. It was really a disastrous weekend because crashing five time is not easy for a rider to overcome and it shattered your confidence. But taking home 13th place today isn’t a bad result so, we can be satisfied with this conclusion of the season. My thanks go to the entire team and NTS for their efforts throughout the year and I’m looking forward to starting our upcoming challenge already next week in Jerez. I’m happy that I continue with this team and NTS.”
#16 Joe ROBERTS (NTS RW Racing GP, NTS), NC:
“Today, obviously, was very disappointing. The start of the race was really bad because we were pushed off the track in turn two. I was completely off the track and continued in last place. But I managed it to pull all the way back into seventh or even sixth place. I had such a strong pace and I was catching up positions quite easy. But then, I made one mistake which was easy to make in this race and unfortunate I made it. I went down in turn twelve. Honestly, it feels that frustrating because the top five were in our reach today as I felt that comfortable with the bike and everything. It’s an unfortunate conclusion of the season and definitely not the way to say goodbye to the team and NTS, of course. We put in really strong efforts and come from the back all the way up towards the front. I think, this is really a strong performance so, that’s why I want to say thank you to the whole team and NTS. They put in a fantastic effort for me all season long, being with them was really great and fun, and also with NTS developing the bike with this great bunch of people there. Thank you and I wish them all the best for the future.”
Jarno JANSSEN (Team manager):
“Tears and happiness – this describes our today’s race in the best way. We knew that it’s going to be a very difficult race where many things could happen. Today it was very important to control the pace, but the race started already with a little bit of an unlucky moment for Joe in the second corner when he had to go wide. But he picked up the pace incredible fast and he did a tremendous job until the wet track caught him out when he crashed with a possible top six position in his hands. This, of course, is a pity but we enjoyed watching him riding and it was great to see him up there giving so much efforts and so much power in our last race together. For Steven, it’s has been very hard for him after suffering five crashes this weekend in the wet with the last one during this morning’s warm up. But he did an excellent job to finish this race in P13 taking the final three points for NTS in 2018. We’re very happy for this. So, finally we would like to thank both riders and all team members for their commitments and efforts during the past year. We can look back on many nice moments thanks to them but it’s also time for a farewell with Joe. Thank you and all the best for your future.”
#ValenciaGP Moto2™ – Race Classification after 25 Laps:
1 Miguel OLIVEIRA / POR / Red Bull KTM Ajo / KTM / 45´07.639
2 Iker LECUONA / SPA / Swiss Innovative Investors / KTM / +13.201
3 Alex MARQUEZ / SPA / Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS / KALEX / +22.175
13 #4 Steven ODENDAAL / RSA / NTS RW Racing GP / NTS / +49.113
NC #16 Joe ROBERTS / USA / NTS RW Racing GP / NTS
Moto2™ World Standing:
1 Francesco BAGNAIA / ITA / KALEX / 306
2 Miguel OLIVEIRA / POR / KTM / 297
3 Brad BINDER / RSA / KTM / 201
27 #16 Joe ROBERTS / USA / NTS / 5
28 #4 Steven ODENDAAL / RSA / NTS / 4