Baltus achieves twelfth place in qualifying at Termas de Rio Hondo, Van den Goorbergh twentieth
Barry Baltus qualified in 12th place for the Moto2 race on Saturday afternoon at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina. Teammate Zonta van den Goorbergh will start the race from 20th on Sunday afternoon.
The second Grand Prix of the season had a difficult start for Fieten Olie Racing GP. Weather conditions were changeable on both Friday and Saturday, preventing the two young riders from completing their usual number of laps. Friday ended with a 13th place on the timesheets for Baltus and a 24th place for Van den Goorbergh.
As the third free practice session on Saturday morning was virtually useless for the Moto2 class, Baltus had thus secured a place in Q2 while Van den Goorbergh had to go to Q1.
The Dutchman was just 0.108 seconds short of a place in Q2 and will have to start Sunday's race from 20th place. Baltus was able to compete with the fastest Moto2 riders and eventually finished 12th, his best qualifying result of the year.
Barry Baltus – P12: “It was a strange day because of the weather conditions. In the morning we basically didn’t ride which meant that we had to go straight into qualifying. In the end that went quite well with P12. We improved our lap time quite significantly and our pace want too bad either. I’m looking forward to race tomorrow, for the first time at this track we have done a good job.”
Zonta van den Goorbergh – P20: “This morning we skipped the third practice because of track conditions, in hindsight that may not have been the best choice. As a result, we went straight into qualifying and it started to rain a bit again, while we expected it to stay dry. That threw a bit of a spanner in the works.
In the first few laps of qualifying, I wasn't fast enough as a result. As I found the pace and came to ride alone, I ended up just 0.1 seconds short of a place in Q2. That meant I was 20th on the grid and given the conditions, we can't be unhappy with that. It's easy to talk in hindsight but we could have done more. That's a bit of a shame but looking at yesterday we were further away from it. I hope to make it a nice race tomorrow anyway."
Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “In the end, it was a positive day for both riders. It looked doubtful this morning with the weather conditions and a half-wet track, which meant the third practice session was useless for the most part. In hindsight, it might have been good if Zonta had also done a few laps but he eventually managed to come back strongly in Q1. Unfortunately, he fell just short of a place in Q2 but he showed that it was definitely a possibility.
Barry was strong from the start in Q2, you could see that a number of other riders managed to improve their lap times just a little further in the closing stages with a new rear tyre. That's a gamble and a risk, especially given the conditions this weekend. P12 is his best qualifying in the Moto2 class so I think we can be very happy with that. We are ready for tomorrow's race."
The 21-lap race will start Sunday at 12:15pm local time, 17:15 Central European Time.