Baltus crashes in podium battle in Austin, Van den Goorbergh finishes seventeenth

Fieten Olie Racing GP failed to score any points in the Moto2 race at the Circuit of The Americas on Sunday. Zonta van den Goorbergh crossed the finish line in seventeenth place after a solid race on the challenging circuit, Barry Baltus crashed on lap eight while riding in fifth place, fighting for a place on the podium.

Starting 12th on the grid, Baltus rode a good opening phase and soon managed to make up some places. The Belgian was one of the fastest riders on the grid, which meant he had moved into fifth place by lap seven. The 18-year-old rider had prospects of the podium but then made a mistake in Turn 9 on the eighth lap, bringing a disappointing end to his best Moto2 race so far with a crash.

Van den Goorbergh was able to hold his 21st starting position in the early stages of the race but saw the riders fighting for the points positions get out of his reach. Like in Argentina, the 17-year-old Dutchman rode a strong second half of the race in which he engaged in a duel with home rider Sean Dylan Kelly. Van den Goorbergh managed to decide this battle in his favour, allowing him to cross the finish line in seventeenth place.

Zonta van den Goorbergh – P17: “There was not a lot more was possible today than seventeenth place. In the end, I am quite happy with how the race went, I pushed myself to the limit. I had some problems in the beginning of the race with the bike going into false neutral and that cost me some time. Other than that, it was quite a nice race with some battles on the last lap. It wasn’t the best weekend but we have to live with it for now on a track that doesn’t suit me that well. We have learned a lot and gathered information, which we will take with us to Jerez where we will do our very best again.

I also want to congratulate Bo Bendsneyder on his podium, great that he still managed to finish third in the end. It’s good for Dutch motorsport that there is a Dutchman competing at the front of the Moto2 world championship, let’s hope there will soon be two.”

Barry Baltus – DNF: “It was the best Moto2 race of my life, for sure it was disappointing to end it like this. I was fighting like hell and I felt so strong, the bike was amazing. That is what we should take from this weekend and continue in the same way. All weekend we were in front so let’s keep working like this. To fight in the top ten is one thing, to fight in the top five is a whole different step. Now I need to work on myself so I can manage this better the next time. We showed that we can do it so let’s try to achieve it again next time.”

Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “This was not what we had hoped for but it was a fantastic race by Barry. We had the speed to go to the podium but you have to finish, the points are only awarded at the finish line.

Barry’s start wasn’t great but you could see he had the speed to get to the front, I think we could have ended up behind Acosta and Arbolino. We have to learn from this and look forward to the next one again. This is part of the process, although it is very hard to swallow at the moment.

Zonta also rode a good race, he had to fight pretty hard with Kelly. He was perhaps a little too cautious at the start of the race, which caused him to lose the riders in front. In any case, he did decide the duel with Kelly in his favour. Seventeenth place is a solid result but obviously we need to make strides there.

We are certainly not riding for the sake of it and today we were in the fight for the podium, I think we can be very proud of that. My congratulations to Bo Bendsneyder for getting his first podium finish in the Moto2 class, he rode a great last lap and deserved this result.”

Fieten Olie Racing GP now returns to European soil where the season will resume in two weeks’ time. On the weekend of 28-30 April, the Spanish Grand Prix will be held at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto, the fourth race weekend of 2023.