Baltus starts French Grand Prix from P10, Van den Goorbergh 22nd

Barry Baltus qualified tenth for the French Grand Prix at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans on Saturday afternoon. The Belgian got through Q1 to Q2 and achieved his second best qualifying result of the season with the tenth time. Zonta van den Goorbergh was stranded in Q1 but had improved handsomely so he will start from 22nd on Sunday afternoon.

It was not an easy start to the Grand Prix weekend for Fieten Olie Racing GP. After the two practice sessions on Friday, Baltus and Van den Goorbergh were both outside the top fourteen after which one possibility remained on Saturday morning to still get straight into Q2. However, due to rainfall during the night and morning, the track was still wet so Friday’s lap times could not be improved and both drivers had to take part in Q1.

Baltus drove the fourth fastest lap time in that Q1 session, securing a place in Q2. The French-speaking Belgian then managed to drive a 1’36.437 in the second qualifying session, qualifying tenth for the French Grand Prix. Zonta van den Goorbergh rode a 1’36.966 in Q1 which will allow him to start Sunday afternoon’s 22-lap Moto2 race from 22nd place.

Barry Baltus – P10: “It was a good day compared to yesterday, both myself and the bike improved a lot. Because of a difficult Friday we had to go to Q1, but we did well to get to Q2 and then qualify in tenth place. I want to thank the team for their hard work. It is nice to ride here, it feels like a home Grand Prix with a lot of Belgian flags. Now let’s see what we can do tomorrow, I’m confident that we can have a good race. I want to do well for all the team, sponsors and myself as well. Let’s go for it.”

Zonta van den Goorbergh – P22: “It was not a bad day today. We started the day with the third practice session where the conditions were half wet / half dry. That was unfortunate because we didn’t really have the right feeling and rhythm on Friday, we wanted to change that in the third practice. In qualifying in the afternoon it went reasonably well, the lap time was certainly not bad. The problem was actually that the step from yesterday to today was actually too big, so it was also unfortunate that the conditions in the third practice were not good. We will therefore start tomorrow from P22, which is not where I want to be. But we have to make do with it and given my lap times I am confident.”

Jarno Janssen – Fieten Olie Racing GP team manager: “Surely it was another good day for both riders. Zonta managed to improve strongly, unfortunately he fell just short of a place in Q2. The conditions were difficult this morning, we were not yet in Q2 with both riders. Barry managed to get through Q1 and then he was able to continue that pace in Q2, qualifying in tenth place. I think they both have a good starting position for tomorrow’s race, it will depend a bit on the weather conditions. I expect we can bring home some nice results.”

The Moto2 race at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans starts Sunday afternoon at 12:15 Central European summer time.