Bendsneyder fights for excellent eleventh place
With five points in their pocket, NTS RW Racing GP and Bo Bendsneyder can look back on an excellent opening of the season. Bendsneyder’s eleventh place in the Grand Prix of Qatar is the best result for both the Dutch rider and NTS in the Moto2. Jesko Raffin had to settle for 23rd place after a problematic first lap.
With a qualification in fifth place, Bo Bendsneyder had already secured a good starting position for the race. With a full tank he lost a few places in the first round, but as the race progressed he managed to to increase the pace and was able to keep up well in the fight with, among others, Tom Lüthi, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Marcel Schrötter. In the final phase, the Dutchman managed to work his way up from 14th to 11th, less than ten seconds from race winner Tetsuta Nagashima, who had dashed away from Lorenzo Baldassarri and Enea Bastianini for almost a second and a half.
Jesko Raffin went through a difficult weekend after missing valuable time in the tests before the opening race. The Swiss was pushed off the track at the start and was the last to cross the line after the first lap. He managed to make up for a number of places and finished in 23rd place.
“We can look back on an excellent weekend for Bo”, said NTS RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen. “We have shown what we are capable of. The eleventh place may seem to be disappointing when starting from fifth, but in my opinion Bo has not missed anything. The pace was high and he was able to keep up well. It unfortunately didn’t work out for Jesko in the race. He lacks rhythm and confidence. For him the break we now have might be good. We do not know when the next race is; hopefully we can race in Texas in a month, but nothing is certain.”
#64 Bo Bendsneyder: “I am very satisfied with eleventh. In the beginning I had trouble with the full tank, but my rhythm and pace got better and better as the race progressed. I was able to overtake more riders, especially the ones who dropped back because they had asked too much of their tires in the beginning. It’s nice to start this way, with the best result for myself and for NTS in the Moto2. It is clear that we have taken a big step this season, but we have to keep working to get closer to the top.”
#2 Jesko Raffin: “I was pushed out of the track at the start and I was happy not to crash. It’s not how you want to start a race, but it happens in racing. I was very last after the first lap. I did not have the rhythm to fight towards the points and ofcourse I am disappointed. The next time we can race again, we have to start all over, but at least we now have data from a complete race so that we can see where the improvement is. The team and my mechanics have worked extremely hard. They have done everything to make it easier for me, and I am grateful for that.”