NTS RW Racing GP was in the centre of attention on the second day of the Czech Grand Prix. In the morning session Steven Odendaal had all eyes on him when he spectacularly saved his NTS machine and himself from a crash. In qualifying, Bo Bendsneyder attracted attention by placing himself in second place for Q2, where he eventually finished in eighth.
Team manager Jarno Janssen was very satisfied at the end of a day on which the highlights followed each other quickly. “Steven's save was incredible. That he managed to keep the bike upright and then just move on: hats off! But also hats off for Bo, who in very difficult and changeable circumstances achieved seventh in FP3, second in Q1 and eighth in Q2: his best qualifying result in Moto2 so far. Who knows what would have been possible without the little slide-off he made halfway through the session? He was in second place at that moment...”
The remarkable save of Odendaal was trending topic on social media. In the third free practice, the South African seemed to crash with a highsider in turn 13, but he held the bike, managed to get his feet on the asphalt and while smoke came off his boots steered the bike to the side while braking. The miraculous rescue can be viewed (free) on MotoGP.com.
Still a bit shaky after the save - and still battered and bruised after Friday's heavy crash - Odendaal was able to ride to eleventh (2.15.936) in Q1 in the afternoon. That earned him the 25th place on the grid for Sunday’s Moto2 race.
Bo Bendsneyder missed direct placement for Q2 in FP3 at 0.02 of fourteenth place. In the so-called Pre Qualifying he assured himself of Q2 with the second time. He seemed to be on his way to a front row start when a small crash threw a spanner in the works in turn 1. The Dutchman could continue his way without damage, but needed a few laps to get back to the rhythm and to get the tires up to temperature. In that time he dropped from 2 to 13, but in the final phase he worked his way back to fifth place with a 2.12.840. A few riders came under that laptime, so Bendsneyder starts from eighth place on Sunday.
Bo Bendsneyder: “I am happy with eighth place. This morning it went very well, so we knew what was possible. It was a shame that I missed Q2 so narrowly, but this afternoon it was an advantage, because I was able to build up the feeling in Q1 and take it to Q2. After my trip in the gravel I was happy to continue and I put everything in in the final lap. The attack succeeded. A number of riders had switched to slicks, but due to my small crash, we had no time for that. It wasn't our plan either. Thanks to my team for the hard work and great bike they gave me.”
Steven Odendaal: “It was an incredible save this morning. I hit a wet spot on the track and was launched. I have no idea how I did it, but I am happy that I managed to keep the bike going and got away without a scratch. Unfortunately, qualifying went less well and I am quite disappointed with the result. I expected that I would be faster in these wet conditions.”