Baltus and Van den Goorbergh fail to reward speed in race at stormy Phillip Island

Fieten Olie Racing GP failed to score in Sunday’s Moto2 race at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. In stormy conditions with lots of rain and heavy gusts of wind, Barry Baltus and Zonta van den Goorbergh both went down in the race that would later be red flagged.

As the weather forecast had indicated, conditions on Sunday morning at Phillip Island were far from ideal. There was a lot of rain and it was already quite windy but, on this occasion, the Moto2 riders were given the opportunity to go onto the track for ten minutes and test the conditions. In this warm-up session, Zonta van den Goorbergh was fastest and Barry Baltus clocked the twelfth time, giving confidence for the 23-lap race.

This started as planned an hour earlier than usual. In very wet conditions, both riders made a good start with Baltus quickly moving up to sixth position while Van den Goorbergh had also made up several positions and was riding in twelfth place. Unfortunately, things went wrong on the third lap with first the Dutchman sliding off in turn 4 and a few moments later the Belgian meeting his Waterloo in turn 8. They were both unhurt but it was a disappointing end to a good race weekend in Australia.

Barry Baltus: “To be fully honest, I wasn’t dreaming about the podium today but I was thinking about it. I made a good start in the race and got up to P6 but then I crashed. I don’t know exactly why so we need to find out what happened there, many riders had a similar crash in the same place. We need to take the positive things from this weekend and come back stronger next time.”

Zonta van den Goorbergh: “I am obviously very disappointed with today’s result in the race. We started the day well with the fastest time in the warm-up session in which we were a second faster than the rest. That gave us a good feeling for the race and I built it up slowly, taking no risks at all and making up positions step by step. That also went well until I got pushed wide twice on the third lap and ended up off the track. Then in Turn 4, I tried to pass another rider on the inside again when I suddenly lost the rear and went down in the middle of the corner. It’s very unfortunate to end the race like that because we could have had a very good result today. It is what it is, we move on to the next one.”

Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “It ended up not being our day although it was still looking good in the warm-up this morning. It was nice to see that Zonta was fastest in those conditions but he then went down which caused a fair amount of damage. Anyway, we were confident at the start despite knowing it would be a very tough race, unfortunately we couldn’t live up to it. These are the kind of races where you can score very well when everything falls into place but on the other hand things can also go wrong very quickly. The conditions were extremely bad though and then fortunately we got away unscathed. It’s a Sunday to forget but we’ll move on to the next one in Thailand.”

Fieten Olie Racing GP will be back in action next weekend for the seventeenth Grand Prix of the season. It will be held at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.